The diplomatic corps’ favourite chocolate maker Ferrero has appointed its first non family chief executive with Lapo Civiletti succeeding Giovanni Ferrero.

Mr Civiletti, who is currently head of central and eastern European operations, will take up his new job on September 1, the company said on Thursday.

Mr Ferrero, grandson of founder Pietro Ferrero and son of the late chairman Michele Ferrero, will become executive chairman focusing on long term strategy.

“I am very confident that Mr Lapo Civiletti will ensure continuity in reaching business goals and effectively support the group in its growth objectives. He has been chosen for his business acumen, vision, and mission-driven orientation while truly fostering the Ferrero culture and core values”, Mr Ferrero said in a statement on Thursday.

Ferrero, a privately owned company, owns Tic Tac and Ferrero Rocher brands in addition to Nutella hazelnut spread.

Earlier this month it bought the Chicago-based Fannie May confectioner for $115m.
In 2015, the Piedmontese producer bought UK chocolatier Thorntons for £112m and Oltan, a Turkish hazelnut maker.

The company is perhaps best known for a 1990s advert, designed in house, featuring a diplomatic reception where chocolates are served on a silver salver by a footman in livery. In the UK, it used to be if you brought out chocolates at a dinner party you would be met with the catchline, delivered in cod French: “Monsieur with these Rocher you are really spoiling us”.

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