Packaged food giant Nestlé announced Tuesday that it is replacing its long-time CFO, François-Xavier Roger, with Anna Manz, currently the finance chief of the London Stock Exchange Group.
Manz, who prior to her time at LSEG spent 17 years at the spirits maker Diageo in a range of senior positions including CFO of Asia Pacific and group treasurer, will join Vevey, Switzerland-based Nestlé when she is “released from her present duties,” according to the release.
- The company release stated Roger, who has held the finance reins of the Switzerland-based company for about eight years, was “stepping down” to pursue “new professional challenges.” A spokesperson declined to elaborate on the release.
The Nesté C-suite news came the same day that another consumer goods giant also announced its finance chief was leaving: Unilever said that Graeme Pitkethly told the board he would retire by the end of May 2024.The London, United Kingdom-based company said it will start a formal internal and external search for his successor.
The shifts come as finance executives of consumer-faced companies have been working to guard their companies’ profits from the eroding effects of inflation after navigating shifts in demand, delivery and supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider acknowledged his outgoing CFO’s work managing through the difficulties. “I would like to offer our sincere thanks to François. 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,” Schnieder said in the release.
The food and beverage manufacturer — whose diverse brands and products range from its iconic candy bars and chocolate chips to Purina pet food and L’Oreal cosmetics — reported organic growth of 9.3% in the first three months of 2023 while real internal growth was - 0.5%. “Portfolio optimization efforts and responsible pricing helped to offset the ongoing pressures from two years of cost inflation,” Schneider stated in an April release on the quarter’s performance.
Nestlé’s prepared dishes, milk products and ice cream were weakest in terms of real internal growth, according to an April 25 Morningstar report. But Morningstar analyst Ioannis Pontikis wrote that flat to slightly negative real internal growth at the group level is “a best-in-class performance in fast-moving consumer goods, driven by continued resilient performance from core categories (petcare, nutrition, coffee).”
It could be months before Manz takes her new CFO seat. In announcing Manz’s departure Thursday, LSEG stated that she would stay on as CFO of LSEG for the “duration of her 12-month notice period until May 2024.”