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TOMRA Food Strengthens Leadership Team to Focus on Customers


Press release: TOMRA Food

TOMRA Food has strengthened its leadership team as part of a commitment to deliver even more effective sorting solutions and even more outstanding added value to food processors. The company has appointed four new heads of department in its processed food business area, which is the world leader in sorting potatoes, nuts, vegetables, dried fruit, meat and poultry, proteins and pet food. 

Two new senior managers have been appointed to the previously-existing roles of head of global sales and head of service, and two new posts have been created for head of product management and head of people and organization. This increases the number of people in processed food’s senior management team from six to eight. All the new appointments became operational this month. 

These new appointments result from an internal review led by Ken Moynihan, who became CEO of TOMRA Processed Food when the business area was created just over a year ago. Moynihan previously served for two years as CEO of Compac, the New Zealand-based global leader in fresh fruit sorting technology, which TOMRA acquired in 2017. 

Moynihan said, “The future of food processing will be more complex and sophisticated as we support our customers to increase yields and quality to meet growing demand. These changes will demand sensing and sorting technology innovations, artificially intelligent self-optimizing lines and digitally connected data-driven support services. TOMRA will be a leader in this transformation, ensuring our customers stay at the forefront of these exciting changes and opportunities, and operate at their full capability every hour, every day, all year round. 

“To lead the way, we need a strong, innovative and customer-centric organization that understands our customers intimately, feels their pain and shares in their successes and is driven to innovate and create new solutions that take our customers into their future. After a year evaluating the organization, listening to our customers and our people, we have set our strategy and now taken the first steps toward that future with these four new appointments.” 

High-caliber experts with global experience

Moynihan searched for high-caliber talent with the global experience and commitment to excellence necessary to deliver on the ambitious strategy. Moynihan said as a business “it is essential that our leaders have wide-reaching global experience and a deep understanding of our customers so we can grow together. Our customers know their businesses better than anybody else, but we know the most effective technical solutions for their businesses better than anybody else. Put those two abilities together, and magic happens. 

“We are going to move further and faster along our path from being a global technology provider to being a global solutions provider, leading the industry by creating new value for all our customers, and ensuring their plants run at maximum efficiency 24 hours per day, seven days per week,” he added.

The new appointments were made with one internal promotion and three people from outside the food industry. 

Karel Strubbe, head of global sales TOMRA Processed Food at TOMRA Food, is promoted to this role from his previous post as sales director EMEA. Before that, he was sales director Americas and Oceania. During his 14 years with TOMRA Food (starting as area sales manager in Brussels, Belgium, in 2007), Strubbe has acquired unrivaled knowledge of the operational needs of the company’s customers. 

Vera Boon, head of service for TOMRA Processed Food, joins from her role as global services leader at Ingersoll Rand, a global market leader with a broad range of innovative and mission-critical air, fluid, energy, specialty vehicle and medical technologies. Boon was previously Ingersoll Rand’s global commercial operations and go-to-market leader, sales and services. 

Kris De Smet, head of product management TOMRA Processed Food, has director-level product management experience in electronic security and video surveillance. De Smet was product management leader EMEA – Video at GE Security, a division of General Electric’s GE Enterprise Solutions acquired in 2010 by UTC Fire & Security. De Smet was subsequently appointed to the role of global product director of video at UTC. 

Vanessa Sibenaler, head of people and organization TOMRA Processed Food, moves from ITW, an American Fortune 200 company, where she was human resources director of Additives International, a division that manufactures and supplies specialty and innovative chemicals for the automotive aftermarket. Before that, Sibenaler was human resources director eastern hemisphere for T.D. Williamson, a pipeline equipment and services company that partners with the oil and gas industry. 

For the purposes of internal organization, TOMRA Food has two business areas. In addition to processed food, the other is Fresh Food, the global leader for turnkey packhouse solutions in fresh fruit and vegetables. 

TOMRA Food designs and manufactures sensor-based sorting machines and integrated post-harvest solutions for the food industry. The company innovates the world’s most advanced analytical technology and applies it to grading, sorting and peeling. 

Over 12,800 units are installed at food growers, packers and processors worldwide for confectionery, fruit, dried fruit, grains and seeds, potato products, proteins, nuts and vegetables. 

The company’s mission is to enable its customers to improve returns, gain operational efficiencies and ensure a safe food supply via innovative, usable technologies. To achieve this, TOMRA Food operates centers of excellence, regional offices, and manufacturing locations within Europe, the United States, South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia. TOMRA Food is a member of the TOMRA Group that was founded on an innovation in 1972 that began with the design, manufacturing and sale of reverse vending machines (RVMs) for automated collection of used beverage containers. Today TOMRA provides technology-led solutions that enable the circular economy with advanced collection and sorting systems that optimize resource recovery and minimize waste in the food, recycling and mining industries and is committed to building a more sustainable future. TOMRA has 100,000 installations in over 80 markets worldwide and had total revenues of 9.9 billion NOK in 2020. The Group employs 4,300 globally and is publicly listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

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