Lucas Vos has decided to resign from his position as CEO of Royal FloraHolland. The Supervisory Board of Royal FloraHolland intends to appoint Steven van Schilfgaarde as chief executive officer of Royal FloraHolland from 1 January 2018.
Lucas Vos clarified, "I have really enjoyed the past four years and look back proudly on what was accomplished. Proud because we have strengthened the horticultural sector together with the growers, customers and staff. I became energised from walking through the auction halls with our enthusiastic staff, or through the greenhouses where you can feel the passion of the growers. We have undergone fantastic developments. And we've had to make some tough choices, but always the interest of the cooperative was kept in sight. We are well on our way in a good direction. But at the same time we have not yet arrived. So why take this decision now? The phase in which Royal FloraHolland finds itself now is a phase of operationalisation. That demands a different sort of leadership. So I decided to leave. That is a good step for Royal FloraHolland and for myself. But I shall miss the passionate people in this sector very much."
Jack Goossens, chair of the Supervisory Board, added, "Lucas Vos has bonded us and provided direction over the past four years at a time when we needed that. This has been extremely valuable for the cooperative. Lucas does not see himself as the right person to implement the strategy, and he is making room for a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). That is worthy of him, as a leader and as a man."
"Royal FloraHolland is now entering a phase in which the focus must lie on our core activities and a quick implementation. More than ever, it is essential to strengthen our cooperative and to involve the members in it in a more modern way. We are also turning our attention to our daily service provision. The sector is digitalising rapidly, and we envisage for Royal FloraHolland a natural leadership role. A lot is expected of us, and quite rightly so. With the appointment of Steven van Schilfgaarde, we are choosing continuity and strength. Steven has shown that he has the right skills to make our strategy successful and achieve the required acceleration. He knows the organisation inside out and will hit the ground running."
Steven van Schilfgaarde replied, "Royal FloraHolland fulfils a unique function as a cooperative. I see many possibilities for a promising future. Collaboration in the horticultural sector will lead to growth for everyone, and we can together supply the entire world with flowers and plants. We are creating an independent digital trade platform for our members and their customers. To do so, we are focussing on resolving the problems in the nursery. We are organising the logistics of the marketplace. We are also ensuring optimal price-setting and growth. The developments are progressing fast, and as a cooperative we must stay ahead in the designing and utilisation of new possibilities. That will mean making choices, focussing on our core activities, to generate the necessary speed of innovation."
The Works Council of Royal FloraHolland was asked to make a recommendation about the appointment. An announcement will be made about the successor of the Chief Financial Officer later.