05 May 2021

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Dr. Gavin Bown joins Beckers as new CTO

He brings breakthrough innovation expertise

As part of Beckers’ 2030 Sustainability Strategy, we want to have real impact on sustainability improvements via our products, and the transformation of our product portfolio is key to achieving these goals. We are therefore delighted to announce that Gavin Bown has joined Beckers as our new Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Gavin Bown is an internationally experienced and awarded R&D and innovation leader with a strong background and track record in both the B2B and B2C arenas. He has 20 years of experience working across the full R&D spectrum – from longer-term strategy with all associated technology and product platforms, and open innovation to delivery to market. The last ten years Gavin Bown worked at Barry Callebaut Group, a leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, where he was responsible for all strategic R&D and innovation activities. There he led a number of game-changing innovations with global impact, including Ruby Chocolate, Whole Fruit Chocolate and personalized 3D printed chocolate. Before that, Gavin worked for Kraft Foods, Reckitt Benckiser and Mars. His educational background is in Chemistry; he holds a PhD in Polymer Physics and a BSc degree in Chemistry. 

At Beckers, Gavin Bown will be responsible for leading and managing scientific and technological development, expanding Beckers’ product portfolio further, and creating breakthrough innovations. He will align R&D activities, coordinating efforts and ensuring the sharing of internal knowledge. He will report directly to Beckers’ CEO Christophe Sabas. He will have direct reporting lines to Beckers’ Research group: the Long Term Development labs and dotted lines to the coordinators of all local laboratories in charge of development. Additionally, he is responsible for the Sustainability and Digitalization of R&D activities. 

A British national, Gavin Bown will be located in Liverpool, where Beckers’ Long Term Development unit for coil coatings is also based.  

“Gavin is an excellent match”, says Christophe Sabas. “He is joining a team at Beckers that is best-in-class in terms of innovation and recognized for developing products that meet new customer demands. But we have a big journey ahead of us to our 2030 sustainability vision. Coming from a different industry and bringing what I would call ‘fresh eyes’, and with his deep knowledge and expertise in using science, data and digital to drive R&D and innovation, Gavin will help us leap forward and develop the products of tomorrow, so we might fulfill our targets for 2030.” 

Gavin Bown adds, “I had two criteria for a new role: 1) I wanted to do something completely different; 2) Only work for a company with very strong culture and values. In terms of industry, Beckers is obviously different. Although you would be surprised to know how much science there can be in chocolate! What really struck me, was the importance of the culture and the values at Beckers. It came through to me very strongly, that they are taken very seriously and are not just a marketing tool. Part of this is also the commitment to sustainability from a company operating in the chemical industry, which does not have a great track record historically in sustainability. This resonated strongly with me, I share the belief that protecting the planet is mandatory now. I am excited about working for a company that has the ambition to be a leader.” He goes on to say, “I am excited to get started! My first goal is to really understand the business inside out, and to get a 360-degree view of the operating and the competitive environment. My second goal is getting the set-up right in the R&D team. I always look out for the silo mentality. We need to ensure we have the right structure to create an R&D identity as a global organization.”

If you have questions or require further information, please contact our press office in Berlin: [email protected].