June 24, 2015

24/06/2015: Accomplished business leaders join United Biscuits Advisory Board

Helen Pitcher, Senior
Independent Director
United Biscuits (UB), the leading international manufacturer of biscuits and cakes, has announced the addition of two highly accomplished international business executives to its Advisory Board, established following the acquisition of UB by Yildiz Holding in November 2014. UB has appointed Helen Pitcher and Marco Jesi to join board members including Murat Ulker, Chairman of Yildiz Holding and Jeff van der Eems, CEO of United Biscuits.

Jeff van der Eems, CEO of United Biscuits commented, “I am delighted to announce the addition of Helen and Marco to our Advisory Board. I am confident they will help support our ambitious growth agenda. There is huge potential for our brands to continue to grow both at home and abroad as we build on UB’s strong foundations and expand our share of the biscuit and snacking markets”.

Helen Pitcher joins the Advisory Board as Senior Independent Director. She is a leading organisational performance coach and mentor with a worldwide network and has held a variety of senior roles in blue-chip companies. In her subsequent consulting career, Helen was Chairman of IDDAS (a leading board effectiveness consultancy) and was previously Chairman and CEO of Cedar. Helen is Chair of Advanced Boardroom Excellence, a panel member of the Employment Appeal Tribunal, Chair of the Selection Panel for Queen’s Counsel, Chair of KidsOut and a Trustee and fundraiser for several other charities. She has also been appointed to a Special appeals Panel for returning Armed Forces veterans. Helen holds an MA, LLB (Law) is a qualified psychometric assessor and is an alumnus of the ground-breaking INSEAD Challenge of Leadership programme.

Helen Pitcher, newly appointed Senior Independent Director said, “I am honoured and excited to join the UB Advisory Board, it enables me to utilise not only my knowledge and experience of major corporate issues, but also knowledge and experience of the sector, gained in my early career in roles in Weetabix, Northern Foods and Grand Metropolitan and subsequently in my consultancy career”.

Pitcher will be joined by Marco Jesi, another senior executive who has held top management positions for successful consumer business throughout his career. He started his management career in Italy and the US with Unilever, Kraft and Johnson Wax. Marco also held top management positions in Seagram’s and PepsiCo Europe in Spain and Switzerland. Marco served as Executive Chairman and CEO of Galbani as well as Non-Executive Chairman of Argenta Spa, the leading vending company in Italy, and Arcaplanet, the biggest Italian retail chain of pet care and food products. Marco has also been an Independent Director of Autogrill Spa. and Parmalat Spa and he is a member of the Advisory Board of GB Foods.


Marco Jesi, newly appointed Independent Director said, “I look forward to contributing to the future success of UB, leveraging my thirty years of experience of packaged goods and savoury snacks both in Europe and overseas”. 

Marco Jesi, Independent Director
United Biscuits (UB) is a leading international biscuit manufacturer whose baking heritage goes back generations, with many recipes passed down since the 1800s. UB bakes some of the best loved sweet and savoury biscuits and cakes that are household names in their respective markets; supported by a strong culture of innovation to continually develop snack brands. Among UB’s popular brand names are McVitie’s, Penguin, go ahead!, McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes, Jacob’s, Jacob’s Cream Crackers, Twiglets, Mini Cheddars and Carr’s in the UK, BN, Delacre, Verkade and Sultana in Continental Europe and Haansbro in Nigeria.
As the leading manufacturer and marketer of biscuits in the UK and second largest in the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Ireland, the company owns and operates 16 manufacturing facilities, of which seven are in the UK and has a strong footprint for growth, with products sold in over 130 countries.

UB is owned by Yildiz Holding – Owner of the master brands Ülker, McVitie’s and Godiva, Yildiz is a global, snacking focused food company with over 320 brands in 49 different categories. With 77 factories in 14 countries, the company exports to 100+ countries and operates in a geography housing around 4 billion people. Yildiz is the world’s 3rd largest biscuits company and employs 48,000 people around the world.

About the United Biscuits Advisory Board:

  • Chairman of the Board: Murat Ülker, Chairman, Yıldız Holding
  • Vice Chairman: Jim Zaza, COO, Yıldız Holding
  • CEO: Jeff van der Eems, CEO, United Biscuits
Board Members
  • Ali Ülker, Head of Global Innovation and R&D, Yıldız Holding
  • Cem Karakaş, CFO, Yıldız Holding
  • Robin Brown, CFO, United Biscuits
  • Alain Strasser, Ülker Bisküvi Board Member
  • Simon Munir, CEO, Galaxy Asset Management
  • Helen Pitcher (Lead Director)
  • Marco Jesi

Visit the UB website HERE.

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