PARIS -- CIES, The Food Business Forum here, said Richard Fedigan was named last week to succeed Etienne P. Laurent as president and chief executive officer.
international public relations, although he will not be part of the CIES management team.
Apart from his CIES duties, Laurent will also be the European president of the Special Olympics.
CIES is a global food-business network comprised of 250 food-retailing companies and an equal number of suppliers from 48 countries, including the United States.
Fedigan, 44, has been vice president for strategy and marketing at CIES since joining the association in 1990. The Dublin native was a marketing consultant in Ireland and the Paris-based continental sales and marketing manager for an Irish subsidiary of Black & Decker before taking the CIES post.
In an interview last week with SN, Fedigan said CIES will take a more active role in promoting self-developed management initiatives "instead of simply reflecting the views of the membership.
"We intend to look at the future of food retailing to determine what consumers expect and how they want that business to be, not in terms of products and services but in terms of our moral responsibilities and what our duties are to consumers."
Toward that end, Fedigan said, the next CIES Congress in Stockholm in June will discuss "the value and values of the food business -- not just delivering prices, service and convenience, but also trust."
According to Fedigan, CIES' short-term challenge is to consolidate its position "as a truly international organization" by moving more effectively into Asia and Latin America -- two of its newest areas of penetration -- and to re-enforce its image in North America. CIES has already appointed Jonathan Berger as its general manager of North America, Fedigan said, "and we plan to bring our management-development program for future CEOs -- formerly the Young Executives Program -- to Chicago next October."
On a long-term basis, Fedigan said, CIES will be trying to make networking among members an ongoing process by combining the physical contact at its meetings with technology-enabled networking. "We don't think people want to stop coming to our congresses, but we need to turn those meetings into a continuous process by adding technological networking to the on-site physical networking," he explained.
Fedigan was selected to head CIES by the association's global strategy committee, consisting of six directors who conducted a search both inside and outside CIES.