SWEDEN – Oatly Group AB, one of the global leading oat milk processors, has announced Marie-Jose David as the Group’s new chief financial officer effective October 1 2023.

Marie-Jose who previously held leadership positions in finance at Mars Veterinary Health International, Americas for Pandora and L’Oreal USA, will succeed Christian Hanke who held the role since 2020.

“I am delighted to welcome Marie-Jose to lead our global financial team as we enter our next phase of growth,” said Jean-Christophe Flatin, chief executive officer of Oatly.

“We believe her impressive global and operational experience in scaling world-class and high-growth consumer brands will help Oatly as we expand into new markets, pursue profitable growth, and help convert more people to plant-based consumption.”

Ms. David brings over two decades of global finance and leadership experience to the company in addition to operational experience with consumer brands.

“Oatly is a values-driven, iconic brand redefining the global food system for the sake of our planet. I look forward to working with Jean-Christophe and the entire team to leverage Oatly’s innovative and great-tasting plant-based product portfolio to drive long-term growth and shareholder value,” Ms David said.

Earlier this year the company, appointed its Group President, Jean-Christophe Flatin to be the new CEO effective June 1, 2023.

Flatin succeeded Toni Petersson who has served as CEO since 2012, and became 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.

According to the company’s financial report, Oatly posted 18% first-quarter sales growth in the three months ended 31 March 2023 to reach US$195.6m. 

The Malmo-based oat milk manufacturer also narrowed its losses from US$81.4m in the first quarter of 2022 to US$59.3m. 

In addition, the report indicates that Oatly, which has a current distribution reach spanning more than 20 countries globally, achieved 12% sales growth in 2022 to reach US$722m.

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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