Pladis names new Godiva president and confirms the brand’s integration into £3bn portfolio

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Lesnard has been named as the new president of Godiva Chocolatier. Credit: Pladis
Lesnard has been named as the new president of Godiva Chocolatier. Credit: Pladis

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UK confectionery and snack foods manufacturer Pladis has confirmed the addition of Godiva Chocolatier to its portfolio of brands.

Pladis began the integration of Godiva in 2023 and has now announced that former Nike, The North Face and Sephora leader Steve Lesnard will join as the brand’s new president on 1 May 2024.

Lesnard has been appointed with a remit to grow and sustain Godiva's position within the premium chocolate category, while also leveraging ongoing support from Pladis.

With more than 25 years of experience working for global brands, Lesnard will arrive from Sephora where he served as global chief brand officer and president of private label.

Pladis’ portfolio of brands is now worth £3bn and includes household names such as McVitie’s, Carr’s, Jacob’s, Ülker and BN.

The integration of the Godiva brand brings additional scale and luxury capabilities, and pushes Pladis’ global headcount to approximately 16,000 employees. Since Salman Amin joined the London-based group as CEO in 2019, the business has grown consistently, achieving a 40% net sales increase since 2018.

Commenting on the integration of Godiva and the appointment of Lesnard, Amin said: “Pladis is a 180-year-old start up. It combines iconic snacking brands with a start-up's mentality and agility to offer products that continue to meet people's evolving snacking preferences.

“Synonymous with artisanal and beautifully curated chocolates since it was founded in Belgium almost a century ago, Godiva is a perfect fit within Pladis’ global portfolio of beloved brands. I am delighted to welcome Steve Lesnard to the team to drive growth while upholding Godiva's beautiful legacy.”

Meanwhile, Lesnard added: “I’m thrilled to join Pladis as President of Godiva. I’ve always regarded Godiva as one of the industry’s – in fact the world’s – iconic brands, delivering exciting innovation while remaining true to its rich, almost century old heritage.

“I’m energized by the opportunities Godiva has, to continue benefiting from Pladis’ industry-leading insights, extensive retail customer relationships, innovative R&D, and highly focused, profitable growth strategy.”

In other news, Morrisons has extended the recall of its ‘The Best Taleggio’ after Listeria monocytogenes was found in the product.

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