pladis completes integration of GODIVA chocolates, with Steve Lesnard as president

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: pladis
Pic: pladis

Related tags pladis Godiva Chocolate

Premium chocolate brand GODIVA joins the pladis portfolio of iconic brands after a process that started in 2023. Prior to its integration, GODIVA Company was acquired in 2008 by pladis’ parent company, Yıldız Holding of Türkiye.

pladis and the GODIVA Company are wholly owned subsidiaries of Yildiz Holding.

This is the latest strategic move by pladis, adding to its £3bn total annual net revenues (before GODIVA’s addition) and creating a 16,000-employee base worldwide. Since Salman Amin joined pladis as CEO in 2019, the business has consistently grown, achieving a 40% net sales increase since 2018.

GODIVA was founded in Brussels in 1926 by master Belgian chocolatier Pierre Draps and has since established a global footprint across more than 100 markets.

Today, it announced the integration process is almost complete and has appointed former Nike, The North Face, and Sephora leader Steve Lesnard as president of GODIVA, effective 1 May 2024.

Premium chocolate category

Lesnard’s remit will be to grow and sustain GODIVA’s position and expertise in the premium chocolate category, leveraging ongoing support from pladis to take GODIVA and its legendary chocolate to new heights.

Commenting on his appointment, Lesnard said: “I’m thrilled to join pladis as president of GODIVA. I’ve always regarded GODIVA as one of the industry’s – in fact, the world’s – iconic brands, delivering exciting innovation while remaining true to its rich, almost century-old heritage.

“I’m energized by the opportunities GODIVA has, to continue benefiting from pladis’ industry-leading insights, extensive retail customer relationships, innovative R&D, and highly focused, profitable growth strategy.”

'180-year-old start up'

London-based pladis is led by CEO Salman Amin who said, “pladis is a 180-year-old start up. It combines iconic snacking brands with a start-up's mentality and agility to offer products that continue to meet people's evolving snacking preferences.

“Synonymous with artisanal and beautifully curated chocolates since it was founded in Belgium almost a century ago, GODIVA is a perfect fit within pladis’ global portfolio of beloved brands. I am delighted to welcome Steve Lesnard to the team to drive growth while upholding GODIVA’s beautiful legacy.”

Under Amin’s leadership, pladis plans to accelerate GODIVA’s sales by 2026, with the greatest push coming from GODIVA’s two biggest markets, the United States and China.

Pladis’s portfolio includes iconic brands steeped in history, including McVitie’s, Carr’s and Jacob’s, Ülker, and BN. Integrating the GODIVA brand brings additional scale, luxury capabilities, and consumer excitement to the company's growing business.

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