Sharon Hintze, an experienced international marketer, was hired five months ago to the newly created position of COO to help drive the global expansion of the pasta, sauces, cookie and snacks marketer (Ad Age International April 13, 1998). Currently, she reports to Mr. Artzt, who is credited with galvanizing the company's international push and introducing the P&G policy of everyday low pricing to the family-owned Italian company.
Since Ms. Hintze's appointment last April, Mr. Artzt has been part-time CEO. Next January 1, Mr. Artzt's contract as an executive director will expire and Ms. Hintze will take on the responsibility of CEO. Mr. Artzt joined the company in September 1995 and Barilla says he will "continue to maintain an ongoing relationship with shareholders." Guido Barilla is chairman.
Ms. Hintze, who came to Barilla from Nestle, where she was head of the global petcare strategic business unit, is regarded as a shrewd strategic thinker with experience that cuts across marketing, general management and multicountry responsibilities. She is also known as a tough operator with strong views.
Barilla's stated goal is to boost international sales to 40% of its total from its current 20% within the next two to three years. The U.S. and Asia are seen as the markets with biggest growth potential.
Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.