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JAB chairman Bart Becht to retire

Consumer-focused investment company JAB Holding Co. Sàrl announced Jan. 14 that partner and chairman Bart Becht will retire during 2019.

Becht will step down from his various board positions at JAB-backed companies, including Coty Inc. and Keurig Dr Pepper Inc.

Becht was CEO of Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC from 1999 to 2011, during which time he stewarded the company through a significant share price increase.

At JAB, a privately held consumer-focused firm backed by Germany's Reimann family, Becht has overseen the acquisitions of companies including Pret A Manger, Krispy Kreme and Panera Bread.

"After almost 40 years in the branded consumer business, I have decided it is time to refocus my activities and retire," Becht said in a statement.

JAB senior partner Peter Harf and CEO Olivier Goudet will continue to lead the firm and oversee its investment strategy.

The Luxembourg-based company has also hired three additional members of staff. Fabien Simon joins as CFO from JAB portfolio company Jacobs Douwe Egberts. Ricardo Rittes, formerly of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, will join JAB's partnership and open an office in Brazil. Jacek Szarzynski will join as lead operating partner for the recently created Pret Panera company after a 24-year career with Mars Inc.

At Coty, Becht will be replaced by JAB partner and head of business development Anna-Lena Kamenetzky, appointed by the board Jan. 13. At Keurig Dr Pepper, newly appointed JAB CFO Fabien Simon will join the board, while company CEO Bob Gamgort will become executive chairman.