Management Team

Tom van Aken

Chief Executive Officer
I hold a Master’s Degree in Chemistry from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands and worked at DSM from 1996 till 2002. At DSM I did various commercial positions, primarily in DSM’s fine chemicals and life sciences business in the USA and the Netherlands. In 2002, I joined Avantium as Vice-President of Business Development and became Chief Executive Officer of Avantium in 2005. At Avantium I have led the company through the transition to become a focused chemical and cleantech company by divesting its pharmaceutical business and by the development of the YXY technology.

Frank Roerink

Chief Financial Officer
Since 2007 I work as Chief Financial Officer for Avantium. I hold a Master’s Degree in Econometrics from the University of Amsterdam. Before joining Avantium, I worked for more than thirteen years at Unilever in numerous finance and accounting positions. From 2000 to 2003 I was Finance Director at Unilever Bestfoods in the US. After that, I worked in Unilever Treasury as Director of International Funding and in the period 2005-2006 I traveled the world as Director of Mergers & Acquisitions for Unilever N.V.

Gert-Jan Gruter

Chief Technology Officer
I became Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Avantium in January 2004. I initially was responsible for setting up the Chemicals Service Business when Avantium was established in 2000. I hold a PhD in Chemistry from the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam. I worked at DSM from 1994 to 2000, heading a R&D group on polyolefin catalysis and I chaired DSM’s corporate high-throughput technology activities. I was professor in Polymer Catalysis part-time at Eindhoven University of Technology from 1999 to 2006. Currently, I am a member of several boards such as the the Industrial Advisory Board of NIOK (VIRAN) and the Innovation Board of VNCI. I am (co-)inventor of more than 50 patents.

Carmen Portocarero

General Counsel
For over 17 years I practiced law in a multinational environment. With every new challenge offered in the business environment and being able to work in many places across the world I concluded that providing legal services from within the organization makes me tick as a lawyer. Experiencing on a daily basis the impact of what we all contribute to a company, being part of making it successful, being able to making the difference. I recently joined Avantium as corporate legal counsel, and bring my experience and expertise from the previous legal positions I held at AT&T, a large US telecommunication company.

With a lot of respect for Avantium’s innovative achievements in the chemical industry and its culture of being a winning team, I am very excited to be part of the current stage that we are at; defining the next generation of biobased plastics and chemicals.

Zanna McFerson

Managing Director Renewable Chemistries

I had several positions at Cargill over a 20-year period, in trading, sales, product development and global business management. My last position held at Cargill was Vice-President and Business Director of Truvia®, where I led the successful introduction of the natural sweetener Truvia® in the US, Latin America and Europe. I directed a global team with resources across research and development, supply chain, sales and marketing. After Cargill, I became Chief Business Officer at Amyris, an American biotechnology company, active in the development and commercialization of renewable products.

Steven Olivier

Managing Director Catalysis
I have previously worked at Albemarle and AkzoNobel in a range of general management and commercial roles. Here I led global businesses across different segments of the catalyst industry in Europe and Asia, and have been responsible for sales & marketing, strategy, technology commercialization, R&D and supply chains. I hold a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Tom B. van Aken

Chief Executive Officer
I hold a Master’s Degree in Chemistry from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands and worked at DSM from 1996 till 2002. At DSM I did various commercial positions, primarily in DSM’s fine chemicals and life sciences business in the USA and the Netherlands. In 2002, I joined Avantium as Vice-President of Business Development and became Chief Executive Officer of Avantium in 2005. At Avantium I have led the company through the transition to become a focused chemical and cleantech company by divesting its pharmaceutical business and by the development of the YXY technology.

Frank C. H. Roerink

Chief Financial Officer
Since 2007 I work as Chief Financial Officer for Avantium. I hold a Master’s Degree in Econometrics from the University of Amsterdam. Before joining Avantium, I worked for more than thirteen years at Unilever in numerous finance and accounting positions. From 2000 to 2003 I was Finance Director at Unilever Bestfoods in the US. After that, I worked in Unilever Treasury as Director of International Funding and in the period 2005-2006 I traveled the world as Director of Mergers & Acquisitions for Unilever N.V.

Gert-Jan Gruter

Chief Technology Officer
I became Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Avantium in January 2004. I initially was responsible for setting up the Chemicals Service Business when Avantium was established in 2000. I hold a PhD in Chemistry from the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam. I worked at DSM from 1994 to 2000, heading a R&D group on polyolefin catalysis and he chaired DSM’s corporate high-throughput technology activities. I was professor in Polymer Catalysis part-time at Eindhoven University of Technology from 1999 to 2006. Currently, I am a member of several boards such as the the Industrial Advisory Board of NIOK (VIRAN) and the Innovation Board of VNCI. I am (co-)inventor of more than 50 patents.

Carmen Portocarero

General Counsel

For over 17 years I practiced law in a multinational environment. With every new challenge offered in the business environment and being able to work in many places across the world I concluded that providing legal services from within the organization makes me tick as a lawyer. Experiencing on a daily basis the impact of what we all contribute to a company, being part of making it successful, being able to making the difference. I recently joined Avantium as corporate legal counsel, and bring my experience and expertise from the previous legal positions I held at AT&T, a large US telecommunication company.

With a lot of respect for Avantium’s innovative achievements in the chemical industry and its culture of being a winning team, I am very excited to be part of the current stage that we are at; defining the next generation of biobased plastics and chemicals.

Zanna McFerson

Managing Director Renewable Chemistries

I had several positions at Cargill over a 20-year period, in trading, sales, product development and global business management. My last position held at Cargill was Vice-President and Business Director of Truvia®, where I led the successful introduction of the natural sweetener Truvia® in the US, Latin America and Europe. I directed a global team with resources across research and development, supply chain, sales and marketing. After Cargill, I became Chief Business Officer at Amyris, an American biotechnology company, active in the development and commercialization of renewable products.

Steven Olivier

Managing Director Catalysis
I have previously worked at Albemarle and AkzoNobel in a range of general management and commercial roles. Here I led global businesses across different segments of the catalyst industry in Europe and Asia, and have been responsible for sales & marketing, strategy, technology commercialization, R&D and supply chains. I hold a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Supervisory Board Members

Mr. C. (Kees) Verhaar

Mr. C. (Kees) Verhaar

Chairman of the supervisory board, Chairman of the Remuneration committee, Chairman of the Nomination committee, member of the Audit committee

Mr. C. (Kees) Verhaar (vice-chairman) joined the Supervisory Board of the Company in November 2017.

Kees Verhaar’s has a wealth of experience as CEO of Arizona Chemicals, the world leading wood-based chemicals company and his 30-year track record in the chemical industry, which includes extensive collaboration with sophisticated financial investors. Kees Verhaar is currently chairman of the advisory board of three business units of Ten Cate, an international advanced materials company.

Mr. D.J. Lucquin

Mr. D.J. Lucquin

 
Member of the supervisory board, member of the Remuneration committee, member of the Nomination committee

Mr. D.J. Lucquin joined the Supervisory Board of the Company in May 2011. In 2019, Mr. Lucquin’s appointment in the Supervisory Board has been renewed for a period of two years. Mr. Lucquin worked at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique from 1986 – 1989. In 1989, he joined, Crédit Lyonnais. Mr. Lucquin joined Sofinnova Partners in 1991 and became a Managing Partner in 1998 and Chairman in 2007 until January 2017.

Mr. Lucquin currently serves as a representative of or member of the Board of Directors of Noxxon Pharma AG, Green Biologics Ltd, Enobraq SAS, By Design Ltd and as Managing Partner of Sofinnova Partners. In the period 2002-2013 and 2005-2015 he served as a board representative of Sofinnova Partners SAS for Ablynx N.V. respectively Cerenis Therapeutics SA. In the period 2009 – 2013 he was a director of BioAmber Inc.

Mr. Lucquin is a graduate in engineering from École Polytechnique and École du Génie Rural des Eaux et
Forêts. He also has a degree in Innovation Management from the Unversité de Paris-Dauphine.

Mrs. M.G. Kleinsman

Mrs. M.G. Kleinsman

Member of the supervisory board, Chairman of the Audit committee
Mrs. M.G. Kleinsman joined the Supervisory Board of the Company in June 2017.

Margret Kleinsman, Chief Financial Officer of Holland Colours N.V., graduated from the Technical University Twente, the Netherlands, and completed a post doc at the VU University Amsterdam. She worked for Akzo Nobel until 2014, filling a variety of roles with increasing responsibilities in Chemicals, Fibers and Coatings at various locations, including two longer term assignments in the USA. In her last role at Akzo Nobel, as General Manager for Car Refinish Coatings for North and South America, she was based in Atlanta, Georgia, and was, among other things, responsible for the implementation of a new distribution model. Margret Kleinsman was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Holland Colours N.V. as of 2014.

In line with the Supervisory Board profile, Mrs. Kleinsman adds the following desired specific knowledge and experience:

■     Extensive finance and general management experience. Key finance strengths include IT, internal controls, tax, transfer pricing, business finance and M&A.

■     Mrs Kleinsman spent her entire career in chemicals and coatings, first with Akzo Nobel, and currently with Holland Colours.

 

Mr. R.W. van Leen

Mr. R.W. van Leen

Member of the supervisory board, member of the Remuneration committee, member of the Nomination committee

Mr. R.W. van Leen joined the Supervisory Board of the Company in May 2019. Mr Van Leen is Chief Innovation Officer at Royal DSM N.V. and as such member of DSM’s Executive Committee. In this role he manages the DSM Innovation Center, a unit which was established in 2006 to accelerate and support innovation throughout DSM and to create new businesses outside the scope of DSM’s current Business Groups. He has decided to step down from this position and focus on non-executive roles outside of DSM in the second half of 2019.

Mr. Van Leen has worked for DSM since 1987. He held various positions in the company including: Business Group Director of DSM Food Specialties, Business Unit Director of DSM Dairy Ingredients and Technology Director of R&D at DSM Food Specialties.

Mr. Van Leen serves as a member of EuropaBio, STAK Merus (Medical Biotechnology) and Academia for Science and Technology. He also serves on the supervisory board of Houdstermaatschappij Zuid-Holland and ZIO (innovative healthcare).

Mr. Van Leen has a PhD in Molecular Biology from Nijmegen University and an MSc in Biology from Utrecht University. He also holds an MBA degree from Nyenrode University.