AIRPORT CITY, Israel, July 15 2019 -SodaStream International Ltd. announced today that Daniel Birnbaum, CEO, will step down as CEO and become Chairman of the Company on September 1, 2019. Eyal Shohat (45), who has served as the company's Deputy CEO for the last two years, will assume the position of CEO on August 1, 2019. The two leaders will continue to work closely together to ensure a smooth transition.
In a letter sent today to all employees, Birnbaum wrote:
"Following 12 amazing years with you all, and upon completion of the first year of integration with PepsiCo, I've decided to step back from the day-to-day operations at SodaStream. PepsiCo's CEO asked me to stay on as Chairman and I am honored and delighted to do so.
Although this is by no means "goodbye", it is a significant milestone in my life and one for me to reflect upon. Looking back at the past 12 years, we have accomplished so very much together: We disrupted the beverage industry. We created jobs for 3,500 families. We proved that peace is possible between Israelis and Palestinians. We saved the world from billions of plastic bottles. We became the largest sparkling water brand in the world. We grew our global presence from 13 countries to 46. We got acquired by PepsiCo, an historical event for the State of Israel. But no less important, we celebrated holidays, prayed side by side, made friendships that span religions, nations and continents and we became a family. And family is forever.
I thank each and every one of you for giving me the opportunity to be part of your life and for joining me on my obsessive mission to make the world a better place."
Commenting on Shohat's appointment, Birnbaum said: "Eyal has been a partner to me and a key driver of our success, both leading up to and since our integration with PepsiCo. Equally important, he shares my passion and commitment to offer the world a great-tasting sparkling water while reducing the use of single-use plastic. I have no doubt the company will continue to thrive under his leadership."
Prior to becoming Deputy CEO, Shohat served as SodaStream's Chief Corporate Development Officer responsible for all commercial responsibilities. He joined SodaStream in 2010 as the Chief Legal Officer prior to the company's IPO on NASDAQ. Before joining SodaStream, Eyal served as VP Legal Affairs at Frutarom Industries Ltd., where he had a major role in a chain of 25 cross-border M&A deals that led Frutarom to become one of the largest companies in its industry.
Shohat said, "I am honored to receive the baton from Daniel and look forward to continuing to work with him in his new capacity as Chairman. I am also humbled to take on responsibility for this great company and our thousands of employees and their families worldwide. Under Daniel's lead, SodaStream became a phenomenal success and I thank him for the opportunity and trust. SodaStream will continue to be an Island of Peace and fight for an end to plastic waste."
Jim Andrew, PepsiCo EVP SodaStream and Beyond Bottle Ventures, added: "Under Daniel's leadership, SodaStream soared to unprecedented heights, and took a stand on the important issue of plastic waste to help create a more sustainable future for us all. We're grateful that Daniel will continue to stay on as Chairman and that we will continue to benefit from his experience and creativity. At the same time, we know SodaStream is in great hands with Eyal as CEO, and we are as excited and committed as ever to grow this company and expand its strong worldwide reach and offerings even further."