Belgian Bulcke accepts challenge of heading Nestle

VEVEY, Switzerland Paul Bulcke, former executive vice president and director for Zone Americas: United States of America, Canada, Latin America, Caribbean for Nestle has been named the successor to departing chief executive and chairman, Peter Brabeck.

Bulcke told the media that he was ready for the challenge of heading up the world’s largest food maker.

“I like action,” Bulcke told London's Telegraph. “What you have to do, you do. If it looks simple that is good, because if it is not, then it doesn’t work.”

Bulcke’s strategy of simplicity relies on the company’s four key strengths and driving growth in four further areas; namely, Nestle’s product portfolio (29 brands), research and development, global presence and workforce. Nestle is also making strides in emerging markets, nutrition, premium products and the out-of-home market.

Bulcke said, “The vision of Nestle is to be the leading nutrition, health and wellness company in the world. When you have a good vision you don’t change it dramatically each year.”

Facing the rising costs of commodities, Nestle’s approach has been to cut costs, reformulate products and pass on price increases early. Bulcke said that he believes prices will normalize in the near future, and that there is no “economical reason why the price of a product doubles in two months.”

One of Brabeck’s last moves before leaving his spot as chief executive officer was to sell Nestle’s majority ownership in eye-care business Alcon to Novartis for almost $39 billion.

For the first quarter ending in 2008, Nestle reported growth of 9.8 percent as a group, and 9.8 percent in food and beverage along. Nestle currently employs about 280,000 worldwide.

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