Anne Chwat was appointed Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary in April 2011. In this role, she is responsible for IFF’s global legal, regulatory, and corporate governance affairs. In addition, Ms. Chwat leads the Company’s global compliance and ethics initiatives.
Ms. Chwat most recently served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Burger King Corporation. She also created and managed the company’s philanthropic and community affairs efforts and was the president of the Have It Your Way Foundation — the charitable arm of the Burger King system. While at Burger King Chwat oversaw all legal aspects of Burger King’s initial public offering in 2006 and its sale in 2010 to the Brazilian private equity group 3G.
Prior to joining Burger King, Ms. Chwat was Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer of BMG Music, the music division of media company Bertelsmann AG. In this capacity, she led BMG’s worldwide legal and business affairs department and executed all legal aspects of BMG Music’s merger with Sony Music.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Chwat served as Associate Corporate Counsel for Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc., the parent company of Universal Studios, Universal Music Group, Universal Theme Parks and the Seagram Spirits & Wine Group. Her primary responsibilities at Seagram were corporate transactional and governance matters.
Previously, Ms. Chwat practiced M&A and project finance with the New York law firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton.
Chwat is a member of the national advisory board of The Posse Foundation and was the Chairman of its Miami advisory board from 2009 through 2011. She is also a member of the International Women’s Forum, a global organization of preeminent women working to advance women’s leadership across careers, cultures and continents.
Ms. Chwat holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from New York University and a Juris Doctorate from New York University School of Law.
Francisco Fortanet was appointed Executive Vice President, Operations at International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (NYSE:IFF) in February 2012. In this role, Mr. Fortanet has broad-scale responsibilities for IFF’s global operations ranging from procurement through outbound logistics.
Mr. Fortanet’s career with IFF began in 1995 as Plant Manager in Mexico and he has served in roles of increasing scope and responsibility over the years. Most recently, he was Vice President, Global Manufacturing Compounding. Earlier roles included Regional Director of North America Operations, Project Manager in Ireland, and Plant Manager in Hazlet, New Jersey.
Mr. Fortanet holds a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Mr. Fortanet is based in IFF’s headquarters in New York City.
Matthias Haeni was appointed Group President, Flavors effective April 2014. In this role, he is responsible for strategy, commercial and creative execution, people development, and profit and loss in the Flavors Business Unit globally. Mr. Haeni will be based in New York.
Mr. Haeni joined IFF in 2007 in the role of Regional General Manager, Flavors Greater Asia based in Shanghai, China. After three successful years, Mr. Haeni transferred to Hilversum, The Netherlands in 2010 where he has served as Regional General Manager for Flavors Europe, Africa, and the Middle East (EAME).
Prior to joining IFF, Mr. Haeni was based in Singapore as Givaudan’s VP Commercial Flavors, Southeast Asia Pacific. Earlier in his career, he held similar positions in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He has worked and lived in Zurich, Istanbul, Warsaw and Vienna.
Mr. Haeni holds an Economics degree from Switzerland's University of Applied Sciences and completed extensive programs at the Institute of Applied Psychology in Zurich and the Wharton School in the US.
Dr. Yep was appointed as Executive Vice President, Chief Global Scientific & Sustainability Officer in June 2016. He guides the Company’s global R&D strategy, leading and developing IFF’s efforts in innovation, technological development and external collaborations, furthering IFF’s legacy of pioneering firsts. He is responsible for the Company’s global sustainability efforts, a key enabler of our Vision 2020 business strategy.
Dr. Yep joined IFF after holding the position of Senior Vice President of Research, Development & Applications with The Kerry Group where he was responsible for creating strategy and implementation of technical platforms in the taste and nutrition, food and beverage and the biotechnology industry. Previously, he held the role of Senior Vice President of R&D at PepsiCo, where he created long-term science-based strategies for core ingredients and their impact on food, flavor, metabolism and nutrition and was also responsible for the Gatorade Sports Science Institute - a facility aimed at expanding knowledge on sports nutrition and exercise science to enhance the performance and well-being of athletes. Prior to this, Dr. Yep was Global Vice President, Application Technologies at Givaudan Flavors and Fragrances. While there, he led a diverse global technology group and was responsible for R&D of taste and flavor delivery technology worldwide. Earlier in his career at McCormick & Company, he held executive roles of increasing responsibility in food science.
He currently serves on multiple advisory boards, including the United States Tennis Association Sports Science Committee, Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean’s Council; and is a recipient of the Apex for Youth Inspiration Award in recognition for serving underserved youth in New York City.
It was while at the University of Pennsylvania that Dr. Yep’s 30 year journey began in flavors and fragrances. While studying for his bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry, he worked as a researcher in the University’s Smell and Taste Center. Dr. Yep holds a master’s and a PhD in organic chemistry from Johns Hopkins University.
Recognized for his contributions to numerous patents, scientific publications and lectures within the scientific community, Dr. Yep currently resides in New Canaan, Connecticut with his wife Helen and three children.
Mr. O’Leary’s career spans more than 30 years in key finance leadership roles where he was responsible for driving financial processes and controls to support growth, profitability and return on investment goals. Most recently, since July 2015, Mr. O’Leary has served as Senior Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer, where he led a diverse global team overseeing all accounting functions. Previously, he served as IFF’s Interim Chief Financial Officer from November 2014 to July 2015; Vice President and Corporate Controller from May 2009 to November 2014; Interim Chief Financial Officer from July 2008 to May 2009; and Vice President, Corporate Development from July 2007 to May 2009.
Before joining IFF, Mr. O’Leary spent 21 years at International Paper Company where he held finance leadership roles of increasing responsibility with assignments in Brazil, Belgium, France and the United States. Prior to International Paper Company, Rich was a Senior Auditor with Arthur Young & Co. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Manhattan College.
Ms. Susana Suarez Gonzalez was appointed our Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer in November 2016. Based in our New York headquarters, Ms. Suarez Gonzalez is responsible for championing the growth and development of IFF people. She leads the creation and implementation of the IFF global human resources strategy across the business lines and works to build talent and organizational capability through IFF’s established Human Capital platforms.
Prior to joining IFF, Ms. Suarez Gonzalez spent 25 years at Fluor Corporation, where she held leadership positions across several business groups and functions including construction, marketing, sales, project engineering and human resources. Immediately before her current role at IFF, Ms. Suarez Gonzalez held the position of Senior Vice President Global Operations, Human Resources with Fluor, and was responsible for the global execution of HR services as well as all corporate HR functions, encompassing global benefits, compensation, talent development, recruiting and human resources information systems.
Recognized as a strategic thinker and results-driven multilingual executive, Ms. Suarez Gonzalez is a proven global leader. Expert in developing and implementing innovative solutions, she is adept at delivering a competitive advantage by leveraging international HR service delivery efforts in a cost effective manner.
Having published two books and authored or co-authored numerous industry articles, Ms. Suarez Gonzalez has been recognized throughout her career for her professional achievements. In addition to her work in human resources, she is a United Way Tocqueville member who volunteers on special projects and events that focus on children. Ms. Suarez Gonzales holds an executive MBA from the IUDE University and a doctorate in psychology from the University of Oviedo in Spain where she graduated summa cum laude.