PARMA, ITALY — Claudio Colzani, after more than 10 years at the helm of Barilla Group, will be stepping down from the position of chief executive officer in April 2023 to pursue other professional opportunities. Gianluca Di Tondo, former chief marketing officer, has been selected to step in as CEO next year.

 “I’d like to thank Claudio for these 10 years we’ve spent together,” said Guido Barilla, chairman. “He has provided us with significant growth and has solidified the Barilla Group to a great extent, making it optimistic as it faces its future challenges. 

“His leadership has made Barilla the first Italian company to have received the prestigious international ‘Catalyst Award’ for achieving global gender pay equality. Special thanks also go to him for helping us at difficult times like during the pandemic, and for the support he continues to provide us with during the succession.”

Mr. Di Tondo said of his upcoming appointment, “I’m incredibly happy, proud and grateful to the board of directors for this honor.

“I can definitely see three main priorities at the top of my agenda: to strengthen our brands even further in Italy and make them even better ambassadors of the Italian way of enjoying food around the world; to continue to nurture our values and diversity, to further improve the sense of belonging among our people, and to attract new talent; for our consumers all over the world to acknowledge us as the most trusted food company.”

Mr. Di Tondo has more than 25 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, with positions in both sales and marketing.

In March 2020 he joined Barilla as group chief marketing officer, where his responsibilities included the definition of a new category strategy for pasta that resulted in the creation of the Barilla Al Bronzo line, the launch of new logos for Barilla and Mulino Bianco, and the establishment of the Barilla acceleration team — a center of excellence for digital skills and advanced analytics in London. Mr. Di Tondo also played a key role in the acquisition of Pasta Evangelists, where he became chairman of the board.

“In recent years, purchasing behaviors, working models and distribution channels have changed,” Mr. Barilla said. “We hope to be at the center of this change, and to open our window on the world, so we can always respond to people’s needs in the best possible way. With his vision and experience, Mr. Di Tondo will drive the company through the transformation process required to become even more competitive on the international scene.” MBN