Phil Rumbol named chief executive of Bahlsen

Former MullenLowe executive partner becomes first non-family member to lead company.

Rumbol: held marketing roles at Cadbury and InBev
Rumbol: held marketing roles at Cadbury and InBev

Phil Rumbol, a founder of 101 and former executive partner at MullenLowe, has been hired as the first non-family chief executive of German chocolate manufacturer Bahlsen.

The appointment comes as chairman Werner M Bahlsen hands over the business to a new management team. His daughter Verena Bahlsen has been named "primary active shareholder", a non-executive position that represents the Bahlsen family’s values and vision within the company. 

Last year, Verena Bahlsen was forced to apologise for saying that Bahlsen, which employed 200 mostly Ukrainian female forced labourers during the Nazi era, "did nothing wrong".

Rumbol, who left MullenLowe in February two-and-a-half years after the network bought 101, is a former marketing director at Cadbury and InBev. MullenLowe is Bahlsen’s agency of record.

Werner M Bahlsen said: "Appointing the first non-family CEO is an important moment for our company. We specifically searched for someone who shares our family vision and core values. Phil has a strong track record of business transformation, and Verena and I believe he is the right person to lead our company into a new chapter."  

Rumbol added: "It’s an honour and privilege to become the first non-family CEO of Bahlsen. It’s a wonderful family business with great products and a rich heritage. Having spent time with Verena and Werner, I was drawn to the inspiring vision they have for the business and look forward to working with everyone to make this vision a reality."