The UK’s third largest soft drinks manufacturer, Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I (SBF GB&I), has announced two new appointments to its Executive Committee. The new hires maintain the balance of female representation on its committee which sits at 50 per cent.
Ewa Chappell will take on the role of General Counsel, taking over from predecessor Mary Guest who has been promoted to Deputy Legal Director for Suntory Beverage & Food Europe (SBFE). Ewa will report into Mary with a dotted line to Carol Robert SBF GB&I COO, leading the legal function across the GB&I business, bringing extensive experience from her career that has taken in both corporate and commercial law.
Given her background in global supply chains and recent move from Diageo PLC – in which she was instrumental in helping to progress the company’s 2030 sustainability agenda – Ewa will be key in facilitating SBF GB&I’s own sustainability ambitions and embracing its ‘Growing for Good’ value, which recognises that by continuing to grow as individuals and as a business, the greater capacity to improve society.
Mary Guest takes a role at SBFE having led the first GB&I legal team for five and a half years, including helping the business navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic. In this time, SBF GB&I established its first legal panel. Whilst in role, Mary spearheaded various Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) reforms across GB&I, including greater flexibility in the company’s parental leave policies, as well as introducing new policies around menopause, pregnancy loss and domestic abuse in the last 12 months. Mary also helped lead the transformation of the SBFE legal function, including the GB&I legal team, developing new ways of working and digital capability across the wider European business, with the ultimate target of ensuring increased performance and greater efficiency. She will continue to drive this project forward in her new European role.
SBF GB&I has also appointed a new Marketing Director, Elise Seibold. Elise’s role marks an internal move within the Suntory Group – having initially joined in 2004 – and has held various positions throughout her 19 years in the business across brand marketing, commercial and innovation teams. Elise will relocate with her family from France to the UK.
The appointment also reflects the company’s commitment to nurturing talent from across the business, encouraging role changes across different functions and moves between markets to allow people to grow and develop their careers as they see fit.
Elise replaces Hannah Norbury who left the business in February.
Carol Robert, Chief Operating Officer for Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I, comments: “Our employees are the heart of the business, and I truly believe that investment in our people is one of the core reasons for our success. Elise and Mary’s respective moves are examples of the progression offered within our Suntory Group of companies. Ewa – our new General Counsel is an incredibly strong addition to my leadership team with a huge breadth of experience and will lead the legal function and collaborate closely with our European parent company.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the valuable contributions Ewa and Elise will bring to their respective roles as we look ahead to a really exciting year for the business.”
Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I is well-known for its iconic brands such as Lucozade Energy, Lucozade Sport, Ribena and Orangina. The business is driven by the spirit of “Yatte Minahare”, the ambition to dream big, take challenges, and never give up, and aim to have a positive impact on the lives of consumers.
Commenting on her appointment, Ewa said: “This is a really exciting change for me. Sustainability was a key part of my previous role so I was looking for an opportunity to bring my legal expertise in this area, and wider background in corporate and commercial law, to a business that is serious about its sustainability journey.
“It’s hugely positive to be working with Mary, my predecessor, as well as Carol in the role for continuity and quickly getting under the skin of this great company. I’m excited to be working with my great team and that of my peers at our sister markets throughout Europe.”
Elise said: “I’ve always loved the unique heritage of Lucozade and Ribena and couldn’t pass on the opportunity to lead the marketing of these two iconic brands. Lucozade’s brand purpose around unlocking potential is a space where we can deliver some real impact and I’m equally excited to unpack the brand love for the British household staple that is Ribena. I can’t wait to bring my experience from the wider European business to help the teams deliver above and beyond on their plans and grow the brands even further this year.
“This new role also marks a big change for my family, relocating from Paris to London for the first time, and I’m really looking forward to the new adventure.”