Food & Beverage

Bart Becht, chairman of Keurig Dr Pepper owner JAB, to retire from the company he helped form

Key Points
  • JAB Holding Chairman Bart Becht will retire in 2019, the company announced.
  • JAB has investments in Keurig Dr Pepper, Panera Bread, Krispy Kreme and a number of other brands.
  • Becht announced in November that he would resign as chairman of Coty, another JAB investment.
Bart Becht
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Bart Becht, the chairman of coffee giant JAB Holding Company, is retiring from the company he helped create — a departure that comes only a few months after he stepped down from its Coty cosmetics business.

People familiar with the matter told the Financial Times that Becht resigned because of disagreements with his partners about the scale of the company's dealmaking. He wanted to focus on improving operations for the companies that JAB already has stakes in, the FT reported.

JAB, which said the 62-year-old Becht had decided to retire, also will resign from a number of boards of companies JAB has invested in, including Peet's Coffee & Tea, Panera Bread and Krispy Kreme. The company announced Monday it will bring on three new executives — Fabien Simon, Ricard Rittes and Jacek Szarzynski.

All three executives have a background at consumer products companies. Simon, who previously worked at JAB's Jacobs Douwe Egberts, will become the group's chief financial officer. Rittes, who worked at Anheuser Busch Inbev, will open a new office in Brazil to head up expansion in emerging markets, while Szarzynski will come from privately held Mars to lead a newly formed division called Pret Panera Holding Co.

Becht's retirement wasn't mentioned when he announced his resignation as chairman of Coty, one of JAB's largest investments, in November, but his retirement has been planned internally for some time.

JAB is the investing arm of Germany's Riemann family. Becht had run the privately held company alongside partners Peter Harf and Olivier Goudet. Harf will take over as chairman after Becht's departure.

Keurig Dr Pepper said Monday that CEO Bob Gamgort will replace Becht as chairman of its board.

Becht officially resigned from Coty's board Saturday, and the board appointed a new member Sunday to fill the vacancy. Under Becht's tenure as chairman of Coty, sales dropped and the beauty giant's stock price tumbled. Coty announced a new chief financial officer Friday, several months after it appointed Pierre Laubies as CEO.

Before joining Coty, Laubies served as CEO of Jacobs Douwe Egberts, another one of JAB's coffee investments. Coty's incoming CFO Pierre-Andre Terisse previously held the same role at the food company Danone.