Planasa (‘the Group’), a leading company in the agri-food sector specializing in plant variety research and nursery within the berry category with a strong presence across five continents, has announced today the appointment of Michael Brinkmann as the new Group CEO. Brinkmann succeeds Alexandre Pierron-Darbonne who, after 18 successful years as CEO, will continue supporting Planasa’s growth as a shareholder.

Michael Brinkmann said: “I would like to thank the Board of Directors for the confidence they have placed in me by appointing me as Chief Executive Officer. I take on this new opportunity with great enthusiasm and respect, in the full knowledge that Planasa is a great company, made up of an exceptional team of professionals and with a great future ahead”.

The appointment of Brinkmann strengthens Planasa’s business strategy, which focuses on innovation, operational excellence and international expansion to become the global leader in berry breeding, supported by efficient and top-quality nursery operations. In the past few years, Planasa has transitioned from being a local player primarily focused on strawberries to becoming an international business with operations in 13 countries, with a network of partners worldwide and a strong focus on the berry fruit category (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry). The Group also works in the garlic, asparagus, endive and tropical fruit segments. Over the past 5 years, the company has registered an average annual growth in revenues of more than 15%.

Michael Brinkmann has worked extensively in the fruit and vegetable industry; becoming CEO of SanLucar Fruit in January 2018. Prior to that, he held senior executive roles in SanLucar Fruit, after joining in 2013 as CFO, before taking on the role of CEO of SanLucar Internacional in April 2015, where he had responsibility for crops all around the world.

Michael Brinkmann’s track record has always been heavily focused on the internationalisation of businesses and preparing them to address the growing challenges in a global market. During his career, he has acquired significant knowledge of different cultures and countries in Europe, the US and South Africa. From 2002 to 2010, he worked in these regions at consultancy firm Boston Consulting Group, before taking on the position of General Manager at a family office in Munich specialising in medium-sized companies. Brinkmann holds a Degree in Business Studies from the European Business School Oestrich-Winkel and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.