SWEDEN – The world’s largest oat drink company, Oatly Group, has appointed its Group President, Jean-Christophe Flatin to be the new CEO effective June 1, 2023.

Flatin will succeed Toni Petersson who has served as CEO since 2012, and will become co-chairman of the company’s board, alongside current chairman Eric Milou.

Before joining the alt-dairy group, Flatin spent over 30 years with the world’s leading manufacturer of chocolate and confectionary company Mars, where he led the multi-billion dollar growth of the Royal Canin cat and dog food business among other achievements.

In a press release, Oatly stated that Flatin has led several initiatives for Oatly, over the course of the last twelve months.

The initiatives included simplifying the Company’s organizational structure, driving cost and resource efficiencies across all regions, and instituting a new operating model that sets the stage for future profitable growth

“I am humbled and honoured by the opportunity to lead this great organization which is once-in-a-generation a company with teams, purpose, and products that are second to none,” Flatin said.

 “We have all the elements in place to strengthen our leadership position in multiple markets and fuel the societal shift to a more sustainable plant-based food system.”

Flatin assured stakeholders that he will enhance partnership with the entire management to unlock Oatly’s full potential and drive long-term shareholder value.

“Jean-Christophe is a proven leader and the ideal person to help usher Oatly into our next phase. He has already strengthened our Company for the better by putting our supply chain back on firmer footing, renewing our focus on innovation, and enabling our organization to go on offence to drive profitable growth,” Toni commented.

He explained that the company was able to start the year, with an acceleration of growth, sequential gross margin expansion, and an improvement in profitability.

According to data from the NIQ report, oat milk is now the second biggest category of plant-based milk alternatives in the US, behind only almond milk, and it’s still growing quickly.

The category’s sales rose 21% in dollar terms to reach US$573 million in US retail sales for the 52 weeks ended April 29, as the data shows.

Oatly took a step toward recapturing faster growth in the first quarter, with sales rising almost 18% from a year earlier to US$195.6m.

That’s still less than the expansion posted shortly after the company’s 2021 initial public offering, but an acceleration from the single-digit growth of the previous two quarters.

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