Creation of Middle East and South Asia region announced by gategroup


ZURICH, Switzerland – gategroup announced today a consolidation of two European operating divisions, the creation of a region focusing on the Middle East and South Asia and the formation of a seven-member, core, executive board to focus on the group’s operational and commercial priorities.

Two European divisions will be combined into a single Europe and Africa region and a new region is being created as of November 1, 2008 to cover the growing Middle East and South Asia markets.

Philippe Op de Beeck, who has headed one of the European divisions, has been appointed group senior vice president and president of the new Europe and Africa Region, effective January 1, 2009.

“This new region will be the largest within gategroup in terms of revenue, and Philippe is exceptionally well-qualified to tap business opportunities that exist within this commercially-vibrant area,” said Guy Dubois, gategroup chief executive officer.

Op de Beeck’s new territory will include the former South and West Europe region, which has been headed by group SVP and president Eric Born, who will leave gategroup at yearend to pursue an external opportunity. “I would like to sincerely thank Eric for his considerable contribution to the group since joining in 2004, and in particular, for his critical role in turning around the UK business,” Dubois said.

In addition, Peter van Niekerk, who was formerly chief operating officer for the Asia Pacific region, has been appointed group SVP and managing director, UK and Ireland beginning January 1. His new role also includes oversight of gategroup company Gate Aviation Services. He will report to Op de Beeck.

The newly-created Middle East and South Asia Region, which will also include Gate Gourmet’s Pakistan operation, will be managed on an interim basis by Pierre Guggenheim, who has been supporting gategroup’s business development in the Middle East. Guggenheim is founder and director of the Consolidated Overseas Corporation (COC), where for nearly 25 years he has been promoting the development of business relations between the western world and the Middle East.

Also as part of the reorganization, a core, executive board consisting of Dubois and six other senior managers has been established to focus on the operational and commercial priorities for gategroup.

The members of this core team are Op de Beeck and Andrew Gibson, group SVP and president, North America, representing the company’s two largest regions; Herman Anbeek, group SVP and chief commercial officer, and Jaap Roukens, chief executive Supplair, representing commercial; and Thomas Bucher, group SVP and CFO, and Mike Hargettt, group VP and deputy CFO, from finance.