Mondelez WTR MD Jaya Singh to retire; Joost Rosmuller named successor

By Luke Barras-hill |

L-R: Jaya Singh and Joost Rosmuller.

Jaya Singh is set to retire as Managing Director Mondelez World Travel Retail (WTR), European Export and New Business at the end of January 2025.

He will be succeeded by Joost Rosmuller, who will take on the role of Managing Director WTR and is also appointed Vice President of Special Businesses, effective 1 June 2024.

The influential and well-respected Singh has spent more than 30 years at Mondelēz International, where he has held a number of global leadership positions across domestic and travel retail markets.

In a statement from the confectionery giant, Singh is praised as a fierce and tireless advocate for DF&TR and the role of confectionery within the channel, having overseen a period of significant transformation for the Mondelez WTR business since he took the helm in 2018.

As a former President of Tax Free World Association (TFWA), he helped to navigate and guide the industry through a critically important period during and in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Strength in numbers

The Singaporean national also served as President of the Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) from 2013-2017, sat on the association’s board for six years as Treasurer from 2009-2018, and was a member of the Duty Free World Council board from 2013-2017.

Jaya Singh served as President of the Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) from 2013-2017 during a career in which he also held several other prominent positions with a number of industry trade associations.

“The decision to retire is not one I have taken lightly, after what has been an extremely enjoyable and rewarding career with Mondelez,” said Singh.

“It has been a privilege to work with so many talented partners and friends in the travel retail channel and within Mondelēz International. I am proud of the strong team we have built, and I know that they will continue to work tirelessly to grow the confectionery category and strengthen travel retail’s reputation with consumers. I am confident that under Joost’s leadership, Mondelez WTR will continue to thrive and embrace the responsibilities and opportunities that come with being a true leader in the travel retail industry.”

For his part, Zürich-based Rosmuller is described as “a customer and people-centric leader with a strong business acumen and a deep understanding of the value of partnership”.

In his fifteen years to date with Mondelēz International, Rosmuller has spearheaded business growth in executive roles across several business units, most recently as Vice President and Managing Director of Chipita.

The company says Rosmuller’s strategic vision and commitment to excellence have greatly contributed to its success, crediting him as a “key figure” in the leadership team.

Editor’s comment

As the revered custodian of Mondelez World Travel Retail and a passionate advocate for the DF&TR confectionery segment and wider industry for so many decades, Jaya Singh’s departure will leave a void difficult to fill, says Luke Barras-Hill.

I’ve been fortunate to have enjoyed many exchanges, on- and off-record, with Jaya since I first stepped foot into the industry as a fresh-faced reporter around 2010. Two common denominators pervade all of those interactions: integrity and wisdom.

Many a travel retail executive displays one or another, but attaining that ‘sweet spot’ (no pun intended) is an increasing rarity these days.

As an erudite and consummate professional, Jaya possesses wisdom and integrity in abundance. I’ve always left a conversation with him having learned something new. Either about the industry, myself – and frequently both.

He possesses that unique ability to articulate issues of importance, not only to his own business, but the industry at large, with consideration, nuance, purpose, precision and honest intent. Every word is chosen carefully. And they matter. This has always been hugely helpful; as a publisher, our raison d’etre is to interpret (often complex) matters and communicate them clearly, accurately, concisely and dispassionately to an international audience, spanning different geographies, languages and cultures.

Jaya’s shrewd managerial skills and adeptness in assessing challenging predicaments objectively and in considered fashion to obtain the best possible outcomes owes much to his character. Unsurprisingly, this is why he is held in such high regard by so many in the business.

Such virtues have, in my mind, always been borne out of a sincere believe in the strength, resilience and adaptability of our industry and duty free’s power to successfully reinvent itself in different shades over the generations in the face of innumerable challenges, all of which he has witnessed: from the abolition of intra-EU duty free, SARS and MERS, to the Covid-19 pandemic and multiple wars and conflict scenarios impacting travel and retailing.

Despite a monumentally demanding role and his responsibilities leading Mondelez WTR, which he often juggled with competing pressures on his time during spells in high office at APTRA and TFWA, Jaya always made time to speak to me. He also insisted I call him directly for clarity or extra detail.

I will miss those exchanges, while leaning on his experience and guidance over the years.

In humbly reminding those on occasion that he is but ‘a simple chocolate salesman’ – and a very good one at that – I sincerely hope he will shortly be able to enjoy those well-earned and simple pleasures of life in his retirement.

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