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New CEO for Nestlé UK & Ireland

Richard Watson in City Place, Gatwick
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Richard Watson is to become CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland as Stefano Agostini moves to a new role after six years as market head.

Richard is the current Managing Director for Nestlé Confectionery in the UK & Ireland and becomes CEO of the market in his 27th year at Nestlé.

Stefano will become the new Head of Confectionery for Nestlé's Zone Europe with both changes taking effect on 1st March 2023.

Stefano 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.

Stefano Agostini in City Place cafe, Gatwick

Stefano Agostini said: "It has been a pleasure and a privilege to lead this great business in the UK and Ireland. I am proud of the many things that we have achieved as a team, the way we have risen to challenges and moved our business forward. 

"Our food industry is a valuable asset to the UK and Ireland and I have been proud to work alongside other manufacturers, retailers and farmers to help raise the voice of our sector and make it more resilient."

"My family has made this country home and I am thankful for the brilliant and welcoming people we have lived and worked alongside. I am excited about the challenge ahead, leading our Confectionery business across Europe, and I wish Richard all the very best as he steps into a role that I have truly enjoyed for the last six years."

Richard Watson has spent the last 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.

Richard Watson said: "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.

"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."