It is important to speak about your own experiences and your own vulnerability. I must have done something wrong in my previous life because I always get into challenging business situations and it’s difficult to maintain your well-being under tough circumstances. You need to be resilient, and I have the privilege of having friends and family, playing sports, and having my team around me for support. I try to focus on many aspects of well-being, but my main focus is sports, nutrition, and sleep. I also take care to surround myself with people that give me energy, rather than take it away.
It’s difficult not to have your team around you in these times, but I still feel their virtual presence with me. What really touched me was when people from support functions asked if they could help in the factories when we couldn’t close during COVID. That partnership and camaraderie makes all the difference.
Sports have also been a great way to connect with my team. It’s something we can bond over or chat about that’s not related to work. I also enable my team to take distance from the day-to-day and make more balanced decisions. Sometimes we need to “digest” the big challenges. Not everything needs to be resolved the same day.
I want to get a little bit better every day and work on continuous improvement. Wanting and having to perform on the highest level in sports forces me to go the extra mile. When I achieve at the highest level in athletics, I feel that much more empowered to bring that focus and success into other areas of my life.
We can work for any other company tomorrow, but the reason I am still here is because this company has a soul and we have great people. I really believe that. It’s the link between the people and the friendship that makes a difference. Talent gets you into the room, but empathy keeps you in the room. It’s the link with the people that truly does make the difference. Let’s try to bring back that soul. Let’s make sure we reinforce the soul of the company by looking after each other and enjoying working together.
Boet Brinkgreve, President of Ingredients Division at Firmenich
As a seasoned global business leader, having lived and worked in three continents, Boet has a history of driving business performance to new levels through the creation of winning teams.
In his most recent new role, as President of Ingredients division, Boet leads the transformation of the Ingredients division while continuing to lead the group procurement with the aim to become the unparalleled champion in renewable ingredients. Boet is establishing this new division, enabling Firmenich to grow beyond the core business through the integration of the recently acquired company DRT.
In the previous role as Chief Supply Chain Officer and Purchasing Officer, Boet was asked to merge the three supply chains of Ingredients, Perfumery, and Taste & Beyond. The objectives to deliver a step change in service, efficiency and working capital were all delivered. Thanks to the work of this new operations team, operations became a differentiator for the group, over delivering on the customers expectations. Service increased by 20 ppt, EBITDA improved by 100 MCHF, while working capital was reduced to industry standards.
Before this, Boet led the Firmenich business in China in parallel to leading the ingredients division globally. As a leader of successful turnarounds in complex and science driven environments, he profoundly improved the performance of the Ingredients division.
Before this he created the naturals business unit for Firmenich, supported by the acquisition and successful integration of the business entities in the south of France. Prior to Firmenich, Boet created his own start-ups, and worked for DuPont in several business development roles.
A Swiss national, Boet is married and has two children and is fluent in four languages, having lived in the Netherlands, USA, Germany, and China, now in Switzerland.