The current Managing Director for Nestlé Confectionery in the UK & Ireland steps into the new role on 1 March 2023 and says an ‘exciting next phase’ lies ahead for one of Nestlé's biggest markets
Watson (pictured) is currently Managing Director for Nestlé Confectionery in the UK & Ireland | Photo credit: Nestlé UK & Ireland
Nestlé UK & Ireland has announced Richard Watson as its new CEO, replacing Stefano Agostini who leaves the role after six years to become Head of Confectionery for Nestlé's Zone Europe.
Watson has worked for Nestlé since 1996, most recently as Managing Director for Nestlé Confectionery in the UK & Ireland. He will become Nestlé UK and Ireland CEO on 1 March 2023.
"I am honoured and incredibly excited to be taking on such an important role at such an important time. 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. 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," Watson said.
In September 2022, Swiss food and beverage giant Nestlé cited Nespresso coffee pod sales as a key driver of growth for its UK business in 2021. The company’s UK division posted 13% revenue growth to £2bn ($2.2bn) in the 12 months to 31 December 2021, with Nespresso coffee pod sales increasing 7% to reach £308m ($332m).
In January 2023, Nestlé said it was seeking to scale back production at its Tutbury Dolce Gusto coffee pod factory in Hatton, UK, in response to a “significant drop in demand” for Dolce Gusto products.