Arjan Overwater


Arjan has a unique track record in both CEO and advisory roles. He started his career with Shell (based in the Netherlands and the UK), the Hay Group where he led their business for the FMCG sector, and Coca-Cola (Belgium) responsible for West Europe as HR director. He joined Unilever in 1998 as the senior VP for Global HR and from 2003-2006 managed their business as the CEO for Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, leading their food business (Lipton, Calve, Knorr) with double-digit growth. He co-founded the East India Company Fine Foods in London in 2008 which he ran till 2015, developing a unique range of teas and associated products through a luxury retail concept. From 2015-2016 he led Meinl am Graben, Austria’s premier fine foods company as their interim CEO. Overwater currently chairs the board of Morrow Optics N.V. in Belgium, is a partner in Sunski LLC (an online eyewear company in San Francisco), and is a partner in The Fresh Sauce Company in the UK. He serves as an associate partner with Global Praxis, the premier consultancy on go to market for the global food industry in Barcelona. He has frequently advised food and related companies and executives on strategy and execution. He and his wife live in the Netherlands. When frequenting the USA, they reside in Maryland.

Arjan has a Drs. Degree from the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands) and an MBA from University of Sussex (UK). He followed the AMP at Harvard Business School in 2003. Arjan has taught both undergraduate and MBA students at Georgia Tech, HBS, Erasmus MBA and lectured widely on strategy and leadership. He served on the board of the Society of Organisational Learning (SOL) from 2000-2003, and sits on the advisory board Europe of Human Rights Watch. He is the co-founder of producing a film against the rise of anti-Semitism, and co-founder of, a special leadership program.