Karel Vuursteen

Karel Vuursteen

Karel Vuursteen started his career with Philips and progressed through several marketing and management positions in the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Austria and Germany.

He subsequently became President and CEO of Philips Lighting in North America.

Mr Vuursteen joined Heineken as member of the Executive Board in 1991. He was then promoted to CEO, a position he held for nine years. Since 2002 Mr Vuursteen has been a member of the Management Board of Heineken Holding.

Heineken, under Mr Vuursteen's leadership, gained the widest global presence of all the international brewing groups, operating in over 170 countries and employing 50,000 people. It became the largest brewer in Europe and the second largest in the world.

Board Mandates

Mr Vuursteen was the Chairman of AkzoNobel and TomTom until May 2014. He also sat on the Supervisory Board of Heineken Holding NV until the same date. He left the board of Henkel AG in April 2013.

He is Chairman of Stichting Het Concertgebouw Fonds (Amsterdam Concert Hall) and Chairman of the Board of The Grachtenfestival in Amsterdam since 2010.

Mr Vuursteen was Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Ahold, the world's then third largest supermarket group, Randstad Group, one of Europe's leading temporary staffing agencies, and Petroplus International. He was on the Supervisory Board of ING Group until April 2010 and he was also Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Nijenrode University.

Mr Vuursteen has been a Non-Executive Director at Whitbread, Electrolux, Head and Gucci Group.


In 2001 Mr Vuursteen was nominated 'Top Manager of the Year' in the Netherlands and has received several distinguished awards in the Netherlands and abroad.

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