Nestlé UK and Ireland appoints Richard Watson as new chief executive

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Richard Watson. Pic: Nestlé
Richard Watson. Pic: Nestlé

Related tags Nestlé Chocolate Confectionery

Watson, who has been managing director for the past six years and in his 27th year at Nestlé, will take up his new role on 1 March 2023.

The current managing director of Nestlé Confectionery in the UK and Ireland, Watson succeeds Stefano Agostini, who moves to a new role as Head of Confectionery for Nestlé's Zone Europe after six years as market head in UK and Ireland.

Agostini joined Nestlé in 1989 and became CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland in 2017. He set ambitious targets for growth and led the business to a turnover of more than £3 billion during a period of substantial global change.

Watson has spent the past six years heading up Nestlé UK & Ireland's Confectionery division, where he has built a team that has driven growth, increased market share and pioneered a number of significant innovations in the category.

"I am honoured and incredibly excited to be taking on such an important role at such an important time. The UK and Ireland means a lot to Nestlé and it means a lot to me. I first joined Nestlé Purina in the UK in 1996 and have been lucky enough to build a career here over the last quarter of a century​,” he said.

"This is one of Nestlé's biggest markets and, from experience, I know it's a great place to do business, to innovate, to grow and to work with very talented people. Equally, I know Nestlé continues to have a huge role to play in the UK and Ireland. We are a big part of communities here as a major manufacturer, an employer, an exporter and we are fortunate to provide many brands that families and pets have been relying on and enjoying for generations.

"I would like to thank Stefano for his leadership in the last six years and wish him well in his new role. I am really looking forward to getting started and leading this brilliant team into its exciting next phase."

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