Mondelēz International has appointed Europe-based president Darren O’Brien to lead Australia, New Zealand and Japan, following Amanda Banfield’s decision to take up the chief executive role at restaurant chain Nando’s.
The snacks giant announced Banfield’s departure on Tuesday after over a year as president of the region and having held numerous roles at Cadbury/ Mondelēz over the last 30 years.
O’Brien has been with Mondelēz since 2008 and is currently based in Zurich as president, Meals Europe and the Global Category Team. He will take up the role on May 1, a month prior to Banfield’s start date at Nando’s.
O’Brien has held numerous senior leadership roles across Mondelēz International, including Modern Trade director Asia Pacific, managing director Australia and New Zealand Meals and president Asia Pacific for the Cheese and Grocery business.
Maurizio Brusadelli, executive vice president, and president Asia, Middle East and Africa said O’Brien’s skills in strategy, sales and branding as well as his relationships inside and outside the business, having worked at Fonterra, Mars Petcare, Diageo and the Smiths Snack Food Company, will help the company drive growth.
“He brings an entrepreneurial ability, ‘can do’ spirit, and proven track-record in energising teams, driving new opportunities and growing businesses profitably,” Brusadelli said.
In his most recent position, he is credited with transforming the company’s multi-billion dollar cheese and grocery business across Europe, “step-
changing growth and profit trajectory, driving market share gains on both the global Philadelphia brand as well as key local jewels”.
Brusadelli thanked Banfield for her contribution to the business, saying she brought “stability, collaboration and alignment,” having led the business through several transformations.
“Amanda is a passionate and inspiring people leader who has achieved an excellent record of success during her career. We wish her the very best for the future,” he said.
Outgoing Nando’s CEO Craig Mason said Banfield’s strong brand and multichannel experience and enterprise leadership skills, put her in a great position to lead Nando’s in its next stage of growth.
Mason, has over 20 years experience in FMCG and restaurant brands and oversaw the rollout of a loyalty program, recently named Loyalty Program of the Year at the 2020 Retailer Awards, and the integration of Nando’s with third-party platforms, Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Menulog.
Mason said the decision to leave was incredibly difficult, but he would like to spend more time with his young family. He is looking for another role, but still exploring his options.
Additional reporting by Heather McIlvaine.