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Vernon Sankey has been elected as the new chairman, effective October 2008. A 59-year-old British national and Oxford University graduate, Sankey joined the Firmenich board in October 2006. He is currently a member of the boards of Zürich Financial Services AG and Atos Origin SA. He has also held positions as chairman of Thomson Travel Group plc and as director of the boards of Pearson plc, Cofra AG, Taylor Woodrow plc, Gala Group plc and the UK’s Food Standards Agency.
Sankey spent most of his career with Reckitt & Colman plc, until its merger with the Dutch firm, Benckiser N.V. in 1999. He was president of Reckitt & Colman (R&C) France, managing director of R&C’s UK food business and group director for North America, before taking over as CEO from 1992 to 1999.