Nestlé announces new nominations to its Board

Nestlé recently announced the nomination of Rainer Blair, President and CEO of Danaher Corporation, a global science and technology company, and Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, former State Secretary and Director of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) for election to its Board of Directors.

The elections will take place at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 20 April, 2023. After 10 years of service to the Board, Eva Cheng has decided not to stand to re-election, while all other members will be proposed for individual re-election.

“On behalf of the entire Board, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Eva Cheng for her strong engagement and her highly relevant contributions, particularly in developing our business in China,” said Paul Bulcke, Chairman of the Nestlé Board of Directors. “At the same time, we are pleased to propose two new Board members. Rainer Blair brings 30 years of deep and diverse executive experience across industries and has extensive operational and strategic know-how. He will contribute to our Board’s expertise in science and technology. Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch has broad experience in international relations and will enhance the Board’s geopolitical and global trade knowledge.”

With the proposed nominees, the Nestlé Board will comprise of 15 members, 13 of whom are independent directors. The company has said it aims to continuously add experience and expertise including the areas of food systems, food and beverage, digitalisation, marketing and sustainability, to its Board.

Rainer Blair has held executive positions in several companies across multiple locations. Rainer Blair joined Danaher Corporation in 2010, increasing its annual revenue from US$2 billion in 2014 to more than $15 billion today. Rainer has been Danaher’s President and CEO since 2020.

Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch has experience in global trade matters and international organisations. She served in the Swiss government as State Secretary and Director from 2011 to 2022. From 2007 to 2011, she was the Swiss Ambassador and Delegate for Trade Agreements.

This follows on from Nestlé’s recent announcement of their full year results in 2022, with an outlook for 2023 expecting organic sales growth between 6% and 8%. Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé, spoke of challenges and tough choices due to inflation, the cost-of-living crisis and geopolitcal tensions.

“The entire Nestlé team demonstrated dependability, as we navigated this difficult environment. Organic growth was solid, margins continued to be resilient, and our underlying earnings per share development was strong. At the same time, we ensured access to nutritious products and affordable offerings globally,” he said, adding: “During 2022, we also confirmed our longstanding nutrition strategy, with Good for You, Good for the Planet at its heart. We took important actions to further strengthen our industry-leading responsible marketing practices and to provide transparency on the nutritional value of our global portfolio. At the same time, we also advanced the implementation of our climate roadmap.”

Of all of Nestlé’s brands, Purina PetCare was the largest contributor to organic growth – but its confectionery sector also posted single-digit growth, with strong demand for KitKat across the world.

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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