Nestlé Announces New CEO Alongside Future Investment Plans

By Kitty Wheeler
Nestlé has been operating for over 150 years, from its creation of the world's first milk chocolate bar.
Nestlé appoints Guillaume Le Cunff as new CEO of Zone Europe, along with future plans surrounding sustainability, mergers and acquisitions and innovation.

In a strategic move to bolster its European operations, Nestlé, the world's largest food and beverage company, has announced the retirement of Marco Settembri from his role as CEO of Zone Europe, and the appointment of Guillaume Le Cunff as his successor.

Marco joined in Nestlé 1987, and under his leadership, notable landmarks were achieved, such as Purina PetCare (the American subsidiary of Nestlé, that produces pet food), emerging as one of the company’s largest and most profitable businesses in Europe.

Nestlé is well known for its world wide favourite products, including chocolate and confectionery items such as KitKat and Nescafé, and now the company seeks to thrive further, particularly in their global reach and expertise in the coffee industry, and the new CEO has much to offer here.

Guillaume, with roots in Nespresso, plans to drive the company forward with future plans surrounding mergers and acquisitions, investing in sustainable and innovative solutions to meet customer demands, and sustainability goals.

Operating in 189 countries with a portfolio of over 2,000 brands, the company is expected to continue its pursuit of growth through strategic acquisitions particularly in the health and wellness sector.

Existing already, are major mergers and acquisitions including the purchases of Gerber Products Company, Ralston Purina, a partnership with Starbucks, and the acquisition of the plant-based food company, Sweet Earth Foods.

Who is Guillaume Le Cunff?

As Nestlé navigates the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing market, Guillaume’s appointment signals the company's determination to maintain its leadership position while embracing sustainable practices and meeting the diverse needs of European consumers.

On the Reviving Origins Programmes, Guillaume said: “We can’t lead a sustainable business and deliver exceptional coffee experiences for our customers without truly understanding our coffee growing regions, our farmers, and taking part in their efforts on the ground.”

Guillaume has worked for Nestlé for 26 years, and was appointed President of Nespresso USA in 2015.

When he became global CEO of Nespresso, he drove geographic expansion and organic growth, introducing initiatives such as Reviving Origins, which is a programme aimed at supporting coffee regions that have endured conflicts or natural disasters.

He led the successful launch of Vertuo (the innovative brewing machine), helping establish Nespresso as the go-to brand for coffee connoisseurs in the U.S, and is lauded as instrumental in the development of home-compostable capsules.

Guillaume has held pivotal roles across various markets and business units, including leading the company's operations in the Asia, Oceania, and Africa regions, and seeks to drive further growth in emerging markets like Asia and Africa in the future.

Having held various leadership positions across multiple countries, including France, Spain, and Switzerland, Guillaume brings a wealth of knowledge and a deep understanding of the European market dynamics.

What does Guillaume have planned for Nestle?

Under Guillaume’s stewardship, Nestlé aims to strengthen its position in the increasingly competitive and dynamic European market, where consumer preferences and sustainability concerns are reshaping the industry landscape.

Ambitious goals of Nestlé include accelerating its sustainability initiatives, aiming to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and use 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025.

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Nestlé is also growing its presence in the rapidly growing plant-based sector, and recently acquired the plant-based food company, Naturell' Kitchen.

As a result, Guillaume is also expected to prioritise investments in plant-based alternatives, as well as sustainable packaging solutions, and reducing the environmental footprint across Nestlé's European supply chain.

With Guillaume at the helm, Nestlé aims to strengthen its position in Europe, accelerate Nestlé's digital transformation across operations and marketing, drive innovation, enhance operational efficiencies, and explore potential mergers and acquisitions to solidify its market dominance.

Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO, says: “Guillaume is an inspiring and seasoned business leader with extensive experience in brand building, innovation, e-commerce and sustainability. He is the ideal leader to take Zone Europe to the next level".

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