Nestlé is combining its Nestlé Nutrition and Nestlé Health Science arms under the leadership of Luis Cantarell after the departure of Kurt Schmidt, the deputy executive vice president in charge of Nestlé Nutrition for “personal reasons” and to pursue opportunities outside the Swiss food giant.
“The decision to bring Nestlé Nutrition and Nestlé Health Science under the same leadership is in line with Nestlé's strategic focus to further strengthen and develop the company's presence in global nutrition,” Nestlé said.
“Luis Cantarell will assume this role in addition to his current responsibilities as President and CEO of Nestlé Health Science.”
Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke said: "We respect Kurt Schmidt's decision, thank him for his valuable contribution during his time at Nestlé and wish him all the best for the future. Luis Cantarell plays an important role in shaping Nestlé's nutrition, health and wellness vision, and his strong and proven leadership will be of great value to our nutrition business."
“It certainly hasn’t been easy sailing at Nestle’s nutrition business and there has been a bit of a revolving door in terms of executives,” Jon Cox, head of Swiss research at Kepler Capital Markets in Zurich, told Bloomberg.
Cox said Cantarell, “is a very, very safe pair of hands. He was a bit under-utilised at the health science business and it makes sense for him to take the role.”
Nestlé Nutrition includes Jenny Craig, Powerbar and infant formula including the €9m+ Pfizer infant formula acquisition earlier this year.
Cantarell ran Nestle’s nutrition unit from 2001 to 2005.
A Nestlé spokesperson told us that despite the leadership being combined, "Nestlé Health Science and Nestlé Nutrition have completely different business models and we will therefore continue to run them as separate businesses."