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Changing of the guard at consumer goods companies: New finance chiefs for Nestlé and Unilever

June 3, 2023
Food & Drink

After eight years with Nestlé, François-Xavier Roger, executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), has decided to leave the company to pursue new professional challenges, making way for finance boss Anna Manz. Meanwhile, Unilever announced that Graeme Pitkethly, CFO, will retire by the end of May 2024, and the hunt is on for his successor.

The company maintains that he provided solid financial leadership and drove sustainable value creation for the food giant.

“He has supported us in shaping and implementing our value creation strategy and has helped steer Nestlé through a very turbulent macro-economic environment over the last three years. We wish him all the best for his next endeavors,” says Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé.

Manz is currently CFO and a member of the Board for the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) and will join Nestlé as CFO as soon as she is released from her duties.

At that time, she will also become an executive vice president of the Executive Board of Nestlé S.A. Nestlé has revealed that Roger will remain in his role until his successor’s arrival to ensure a smooth transition.

Prior to joining LSEG, Manz served as CFO and executive director at Johnson Matthey plc, leading the Strategy, Finance, Procurement and IT functions. Before that, she spent 17 years at Diageo in several senior roles, including chief strategy director, CFO of Asia Pacific and Group Treasurer.

“We are thrilled to welcome Anna Manz to Nestlé,” continues Schneider. “Anna has spent her career growing businesses and improving operational efficiencies. Her knowledge of the consumer goods industry and her extensive experience across many corporate functions make her uniquely positioned to help lead Nestlé into its next phase of value creation.”

Roger adds: “I am proud to have been part of Nestlé’s remarkable value creation journey. I have had the pleasure of leading a highly professional finance team, and I feel this is the appropriate time to hand over my responsibilities. I want to thank Mark, the Board of Directors, the Executive Board and my colleagues for their support.”

Unilever’s leadership changes
Unilever also revealed that Graeme Pitkethly, CFO, will retire from the company by next May.

The Board will now proceed with a formal internal and external search for his successor.

“I would like to thank Graeme for his tremendous contribution to Unilever over the last 21 years. As CFO, he has brought great leadership to our company and been instrumental in sharpening our strategy and driving a step-up in our operational performance,” comments Unilever’s CEO Alan Jope.

In addition, Conny Braams, chief digital and commercial officer (CDCO) and the Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE) member has decided to leave Unilever in August 2023.Conny Braams.

Braams has been on the ULE since January 2020, previously holding several senior management roles, including executive vice president (EVP), Middle Europe; and EVP Foodsolutions Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Jope adds: “I am grateful for Conny’s excellent leadership of our digital, marketing and commercial agenda over the last four years and for her impressive contribution to Unilever over three decades. As CDCO, she has helped to transform our company into a future-fit, fully digitized organization.”

Braams’ successor will be announced in due course.

Edited by Elizabeth Green


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