Nestlé has a geographical divisional structure with operations segmented into five key regions. For many years, Swiss multinational food and drink company Nestlé had a complex and decentralized matrix organizational structure where its numerous brands and subsidiaries were free to operate autonomously.
Understanding Nestlé’s organizational structure
In October 2021, however, the company announced that a new geographic divisional structure would be implemented with global business operations organized into five zones.
CEO Mark Schneider noted that this move would enable Nestlé to “significantly sharpen our geographic focus to drive sustained profitable growth everywhere we operate. This move will bring us closer to consumers and customers, unlock new business opportunities and enable us to be even more agile in a fast-moving consumer environment.”
Let’s describe these geographic divisions below in addition to some other aspects of Nestlé’s organizational structure.
Nestlé’s geographic divisions
The five geographic divisions (and the countries they incorporate) include:
- Zone North America (NA) – this includes the United States (the company’s largest market) and Canada.
- Zone Latin America (LATAM) – this includes Brazil and Mexico – among Nestlé’s largest markets by revenue – and the Caribbean.
- Zone Europe (EUR) – in Europe, the company’s category-focused operating model has enabled it to grow its market share and build its innovation capabilities.
- Zone Asia, Oceania, and Africa (AOA) – a broad geographic region that also includes the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
- Zone Greater China (GC) – a rapidly expanding market that offers significant growth potential for the company.
Note that not all of the company’s food and drink operations are organized under these regions. Globally managed businesses such as Nestlé Health Science and Nespresso remain separate.
The same is also true for joint ventures such as Froneri and Cereal Partners Worldwide.
Nestlé’s Executive Board takes care of the day-to-day management of the company.
In addition to current CEO Mark Schneider, there are 14 Executive and Deputy Executive Vice Presidents. Five of these lead the geographic divisions, while the remaining nine manage functional groups with the following titles:
- Chief Financial Officer.
- Head of Operations.
- Chief Technology Officer.
- Global Head Human Resources & Business Services.
- General Counsel, Corporate Governance and Compliance.
- Head of Strategic Business Units and Marketing and Sales.
- Chief Executive Officer Nestlé Health Science.
- Head of Group Strategy and Business Development.
- Head of Nestlé Coffee Brands.
Board of Directors
The company’s Board of Directors is responsible for:
- Supervision of the Group.
- Long-term strategy development, and
- The Group’s environmental, economic, and social sustainability initiatives.
The Board of Directors consists of 15 members which include Mark Schneider and Nestlé Chairman (and former CEO) Paul Bulcke. Other board members bring experience from companies such as Amway, Apple, Credit Suisse, Inditex, AXA, and Harman International.
- Nestlé has a predominantly geographical divisional structure with operations segmented into five key regions. This structure was first announced in October 2021 to replace the more complex, matrix structure.
- Nestlé’s five geographic divisions are North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Oceania & Africa, and Greater China. The company’s joint venture projects and globally managed businesses such as Nestlé Health Science and Nespresso remain separate.
- Nestlé is also supported by a 14-member Executive Board with members appointed as CEOs of the five geographic regions plus various functional groups.
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