Nestlé has approved the creation of new geographic zones for North America and Greater China, effective 1 January 2022.
The decision, approved by the company’s board of directors, will strengthen the company's market-led approach and further Nestlé's ability to win in a rapidly changing environment.
The structure also underscores the company's deep commitment to succeeding in all parts of the world, including its two top markets North America and Greater China, Nestlé added.
The company will be organised into five zones – North America (NA), Latin America (LATAM), Europe (EUR), Zone Asia, Oceania and Africa (AOA), and Greater China (GC).
Zone North America will comprise the United States and Canada, which generate annual sales of CHF 24.7 billion together.
The LATAM zone includes Brazil and Mexico, which are among Nestlé's leading markets by sales. It also includes the Caribbean region, which accounts for annual sales of CHF 9.2 billion.
Zone Asia, Oceania and Africa (AOA), with annual sales worth CHF 17.5 billion, will now include the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region.
Mark Schneider, Nestlé S.A. CEO, said, ”With the new Zone structure, we will significantly sharpen our geographic focus to drive sustained profitable growth everywhere we operate.
“This move will bring us closer to consumers and customers, unlock new business opportunities and enable us to be even more agile in a fast-moving consumer environment."
The food giant has also announced changes to its executive board following the creation of new zones.
Executive vice-president and CEO of Zone Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa, Chris Johnson, will retire from the executive board on 31 December 2021. Johnson will continue to advise the newly formed Zone AOA during the transition period and leave the company on 31 January 2022.
During his 38-year stint at Nestlé, Johnson held key leadership roles in markets, businesses and global functions, including developing Nestlé's first global information technology (IT) solution.
Steve Presley, current chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA, will join the executive board as executive vice-president and CEO of Zone North America.
Presley joined Nestlé in 1997 as a controller and moved on to various finance and management roles in the USA.
Before becoming chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA in 2018, he served as chief financial officer.
David Zhang, the current CEO of Totole, Nestlé's highly successful food seasoning business, and business executive officer for food in Greater China, will join the executive board as executive vice-president and CEO of Zone Greater China.
In 2000, Zhang started his career with Wyeth China, where he held various roles in finance. He moved to Nestlé in 2012, when the company acquired Wyeth and served as head of grocery retail sales at Nestlé China in 2015 and 2016.
Current market head of Greater China Region, Rashid Qureshi, will leave the company after a long and distinguished career across multiple geographies and will hand over the responsibility of the region on 31 December 2021.
Elsewhere, Remy Ejel, current market head of Middle East North Africa, will join the executive board as executive vice-president and CEO of Zone AOA. Ejel joined Nestlé in 1998 as a product manager and served the company in various roles in the Middle East and in Africa.
Laurent Freixe will lead the newly established Zone LATAM as executive vice-president and CEO of Zone LATAM, while Marco Settembri will lead Zone Europe as executive vice-president and CEO Zone EUR.
'An Important And Timely Change'
Nestlé chairman Paul Bulcke added, “[Schneider] and the team have my full support in bringing Nestlé's Zone structure to the next level. This is an important and timely change that will strengthen local relevance and implementation of our company’s strategy.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Chris [Johnson], a dear colleague and friend, for his outstanding leadership and dedication to Nestlé. I would also like to thank Laurent [Freixe] and Marco [Settembri] for the excellent performance in their zones, as well as their foresight and full support in evolving the zone structure. At the same time, please join me in welcoming our newly appointed executive board members Steve [Presley], David [Zhang], and Remy [Ejel]. With its deep market knowledge, our expanded leadership team is well-positioned to take advantage of future growth opportunities globally."