DIA Group welcomes Marcelo Maia to the Board of Directors

December 11, 2020

Grupo DIA incorpora a Marcelo Maia al Consejo de Administración
Grupo DIA incorpora a Marcelo Maia al Consejo de Administración

Until now, Maia was CEO of DIA Brazil.

Enéas Pestana will take over as the new CEO at DIA Brasil to continue and implement the transformation process.

In addition, the company is appointing Jesús Soto Cantero as Chief Financial Officer for the DIA Group

After completing the modification of DIA’s long-term capital structure last week, all efforts are now focused on the business transformation process, which is moving into its second phase.

In this regard, given the importance of the Brazilian market for the company’s future, Marcelo Maia—who was until now CEO of DIA Brasil—is joining the DIA Group’s highest management body, the Board of Directors. Beginning 1 January 2021, his role will be as an external director to incorporate his vision of the country into the group’s strategy. In the last year, Maia has stabilized the business in Brazil, returning it to the path of growth with positive comparable sales, and has ushered in a new and competitive management team that has successfully closed the sale of the operations in Rio Grande do Sul to focus business on the state of São Paulo.

Enéas Pestana, who already has extensive knowledge of the business and the company as a member of the Advisory Council of DIA Brasil (a body headed by Maia), is appointed CEO for this essential market in the transformation plan. From 2010 to 2014, Pestana held the top position at the Pão de Açúcar Group, one of the largest food distribution groups in Brazil.

“The vision, knowledge and experience of Marcelo—whom I want to thank for his leadership at the helm of the DIA Brasil team—will help us better understand the changes and evolution of the Brazilian market to make the necessary strategic decisions within the Board. I also want to welcome Enéas Pestana, who has been tasked with carrying out the transformation process in Brazil, a country where we believe there is a significant opportunity to develop DIA’s proximity concept. These changes are framed within the spirit of having strong local teams,” states Stephan Ducharme, CEO of the DIA Group.

Appointment of the DIA Group Chief Financial Officer

The company has also appointed Jesús Soto Cantero as the Chief Financial Officer of the DIA Group to continue promoting the department’s roadmap and to provide support to all the countries in which DIA operates. Jesús Soto Cantero has a broad strategic vision and 25 years of experience in supporting businesses in the process of transformation from a finance and operations standpoint at companies such as Grupo VIPS, where he was also the head of IT and Supply Chain, thereby leading the transformation of the Group from a support role.

“With the same enthusiasm, I’d like to express my gratitude for Jesús Soto joining the DIA Group as Chief Financial Officer. Once the foundations of an optimal capital structure have been established, which gives us more confidence when facing our challenges, Soto’s main mission will be to support the various countries in their financial areas to promote the execution of the business plan in important aspects, such as the digital transformation of the financial department or the search for the efficiency and optimisation of internal processes,” says Stephan DuCharme, CEO of the DIA Group.

The professional career path of Marcelo Maia

CEO of DIA Brazil to date, he was previously Executive Vice President and shareholder of Lojas Maia, one of the main distribution chains in northeast Brazil, specializing in the sale of furniture, electronics and household appliances. It was sold to Magazine Luiza in 2010, where he later continued his professional career. Previously-held positions: Secretary of State for Commerce and Services of the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (2015-2018) and President of the Brazilian Association of Franchising.

The professional career path of Enéas Pestana

Since March of this year, he has been a member of the Advisory Council of DIA Brasil and is the founder of Enéas Pestana & Associados, a distribution and consumer consulting firm. He holds a degree in Accounting Sciences from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo with a specialisation in management control, finance and leadership for national and international institutions. Pestana was Managing Director for four years and Chief Financial Officer for seven years of Grupo Pão de Açúcar. He was also Vice President of DASA, and Chief Financial Officer of GP Investments, a Latin American investment firm and controller of Carrefour Brasil. In 2013, he received the Bravo Business magazine award for Dynamic CEO of the Year in recognition of his management at the head of the largest food distribution group in Brazil, Pão de Açúcar.

About DIA Brazil

The company has operated in the country since 2001 and currently has a network of 778 convenience stores in the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. DIA is the only franchise company in the food distribution sector in Brazil with about 300 stores managed by franchisees. DIA Brasil has more than 7,500 employees and as of September had net sales of 863 million euros.

The professional career of Jesús Soto Cantero

For nine years, he was Chief Financial Officer of Grupo VIPS, where he also headed the IT and Supply Chain areas and held a position on the Board of Directors of Starbucks Spain. For three years, he was a partner of Ambers & Co, a consulting firm specialising in M&A, having previously held positions of Associate Director of the Operations area and Corporate Strategy and Development area in Grupo PRISA. In recent months, he has headed the financial area of RBIberia.