Ben & Jerry’s has named Dave Stever as its new chief executive officer. The 34 year veteran succeeds Matthew McCarthy, who recently retired after five years on the job.
Stever started as a tour guide in 1988 at the ice cream company’s Waterbury factory, which is the state’s #1 tour attraction. He swiftly established himself in marketing and management and over the past 12 years has served as chief marketing officer.
In early days at Ben & Jerry’s the lifelong Vermonter witnessed scrappy fights with rival Haagen-Dazs, which was then the industry leader. He was well established as a leader in management when the company became part of Unilever over 20 years ago, and has been instrumental in introducing super-premium flavor sensations like Chubby Hubby, Phishfood and Half Baked.
One of his strengths has been working cross functionally to create impactful partnerships with the likes of Dave Matthews Band, Willie Nelson, Elton John, Jimmy Fallon as well as other musicians and celebrities.
News of Stever’s promotion spread quickly around the company’s headquarters in South Burlington, Vermont, as well as throughout the global organization in the 35 countries where Ben & Jerry’s does business. This is the first time since co-founder Ben Cohen stepped down as chief executive officer in 1994 that a staff member has been promoted from within the company to the CEO position.
“Ben and I have known Dave for over three decades and we are absolutely thrilled that he will be leading us into the next chapter of our company’s history,” said co-founder Jerry Greenfield.
“He knows Ben & Jerry’s inside and out. We are psyched to have someone with his talent, passion and demonstrated ability as our CEO,” added Cohen.