Our governance and advisory structure

Within Nestlé’s corporate governance structure, the Board of Directors, the Chairman, CEO and Executive Board are responsible for the supervision and management of our role in society, and for the Creating Shared Value strategy. They are supported by internal management bodies, including the Nestlé in Society Board, Operations Sustainability Council, Issues Round Table, R&D Council for Sustainability and Nutrition, and the Group Compliance Committee. We also take advice from external advisory groups, including the Creating Shared Value Council and the Nestlé Nutrition Council.

The Nestlé-in-Society Board

The Nestlé-in-Society Board is chaired by our CEO. It leads the strategic development and implementation of Creating Shared Value across our business, including for all societal commitments, objectives and strategies. Specifically, the board works to:

  • Ensure alignment and coherence of all activities and work streams related to Nestlé’s positioning in society;
  • Assess and draw appropriate conclusions from societal developments affecting Nestlé; and
  • Further strengthen Nestlé’s credentials in Creating Shared Value – with focus on nutrition, water and rural development – environmental sustainability and compliance, thereby covering all dimensions of the Nestlé in Society pyramid.

The Nestlé-in-Society Board currently comprises Paul Bulcke, Magdi Batato, Patrice Bula, Stefan Catsicas, Peter Vogt, Eugenio Simioni, Janet Voûte and Thomas Buday. José Lopez was also a board member during 2015. He retired in September and was replaced by Magdi Batato. The Nestlé in Society Board reverts to the Executive Board for input and confirmation.

For more information on our governance and advisory structure, please see Nestlé’s Annual Report.

Nestlé Creating Shared Value Council

The Nestlé Creating Shared Value Council is formed of 13 external members, with expertise covering corporate social responsibility, strategy, sustainability, nutrition, water and rural development. The group advises Nestlé management on the best ways to implement Creating Shared Value and assesses Nestlé’s progress. Council members participate in the Nestlé annual Creating Shared Value Global Forum and form the judging panel for the Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value.

  • Nancy Birdsall is the founding President of the Center for Global Development. Before founding the Center, she served for three years as Senior Associate and Director of the Economic Reform Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. From 1993 to 1998, she was Executive Vice President of the Inter-American Development Bank. Before joining the Inter-American Development Bank, she spent 14 years in research, policy and management positions at the World Bank.

    Robert E. Black is Chairman of the Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has devoted his research and professional activities to reducing the number of unnecessary child deaths from diarrhoea, pneumonia, malaria, measles and malnutrition. His many studies are also focused on the impact of nutrition programmes in developing countries and the strengthening of public health training.

    John Elkington is co-founder of SustainAbility, and Founding Partner and Director of Volans. He is a world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development. In 2004, BusinessWeek described him as “a dean of the corporate responsibility movement for three decades” and in 2008, The Evening Standard named John among the “1 000 Most Influential People” in London, describing him as “a true green business guru” and “an evangelist for corporate social and environmental responsibility long before it was fashionable”.

    José Lopez is a senior leader with 36 years of general management and operational experience in the FMCG industry. Most recently, he held the role of Executive Vice President, Chief Operations Officer, at Nestlé SA, until his retirement in September 2015. His previous roles in the company include Chairman and CEO of Nestlé Japan Ltd and Managing Director of Nestlé Malaysia & Singapore. He has recently become a Fellow of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and the Executive in Residence at IMD Lausanne.

    Venkatesh Mannar is former President of the Micronutrient Initiative (MI), having overseen the implementation of MI’s global mandate to support national actions to eliminate micronutrient malnutrition. MI works in collaboration with major international agencies, national governments, private industry and NGOs to expand and strengthen national programmes through a combination of technical, operational and funding support.

    Ruth Khasaya Oniang’o was formerly Professor of Food Science and Nutrition at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya and adjunct Professor of Nutrition at Tufts University in the USA. She is also Founder and Executive Director of the Rural Outreach Program Kenya, as well as Founder and Editor-in- Chief of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development. She has published and communicated widely on household food and nutritional security, and women’s nutrition and children’s health. She works on rural developments focused on women smallholder farmers and is a former member of parliament in Kenya.

    Prabhu Pingali is Professor and Director of the Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition initiative at Cornell University and Full Professor in Applied Economics. He has more than 25 years of experience in assessing the extent and impact of technical change in developing agriculture in Asia, Africa and Latin America. He was formerly the Deputy Director of the Agriculture Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Director of the Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and earned a PhD in Economics from North Carolina State University in 1982.

    Michael E. Porter is Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at the Harvard Business School. He is a leading authority on competitive strategy, the competitiveness and economic development of nations, states and regions, and the application of competitive principles to social problems such as healthcare, the environment and corporate responsibility.

    Robert L. Thompson is a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC. He is Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Policy at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and an international authority on agricultural development and international agricultural trade policy. He is a Senior Fellow of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and serves on the USDA-USTR Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade and the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council. Formerly, he was Director of Rural Development at the World Bank, Dean of Agriculture at Purdue University, and Assistant Secretary for Economics at the US Department of Agriculture.

    Ajay Vashee was, most recently, President of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP), which represented farmers at the world level. Elected at the 38th IFAP World Farmers’ meeting in June 2008, he was the first President from a developing country (Zambia).

    Ann M. Veneman has a distinguished career in public service. She served as Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) from 2005 to 2010, prior to which she was US Secretary of Agriculture from 2001 to 2005. She also served as Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture from 1995 to 1999, overseeing the state agency responsible for the United States’ largest agricultural producing region. From 1986 to 1993, she served in various positions in the USDA, including Deputy Secretary, Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs, and Associate Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service. Veneman’s leadership and vision has been recognised both nationally and internationally. In 2009 she was named to the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list, and she has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. In 2016 she received the Women Making History Award from the National Women’s History Museum. Veneman currently serves on a number of boards of directors, advisory councils, committees and non-profit boards. She is a frequent speaker on a range of topics including poverty alleviation, empowering women and girls, food security and nutrition and global health.

    Janet Voûte is the Chairperson of the Creating Shared Value Council and a member of the Board of Bupa (the British United Provident Association) as well as Bamboo Finance. Previously she was a member of the International Integrated Reporting Council and served as Global Head of Public Affairs at Nestlé. She also served as Partnership Advisor at the World Health Organization in the area of non-communicable diseases and mental health and as CEO of the World Heart Federation. She was formerly Vice President and Partner at Bain & Company.

    Alexander J.B. Zehnder is the Scientific Director of the Alberta Water Research Institute in Edmonton, Canada, founder and director of Triple Z Ltd, Visiting Professor at NTU, and Professor Emeritus of ETH Zurich. His major knowledge areas comprise qualitative and quantitative aspects of water, water policy, the relation between food and water security, virtual water trade, water infrastructures; scientific and economic fundamentals for sustainable development; developing capital market instruments; microbiology; managing small and medium enterprises and large public institutions and universities.

The Nestlé Nutrition Council

The Nestlé Nutrition Council is an independent advisory panel made up of leading international nutrition scientists. The council considers and advises our senior management team on nutrition challenges and their potential impact to Nestlé’s policies and strategy. It is instrumental in advising on and challenging the reviews of our research programmes. It also organises the Annual Nestlé International Nutrition Symposium. The Council is chaired by our Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President Stefan Catsicas, and meets twice a year. Nestlé members include Edward Baetge, Stefan Palzer, Gregory Behar, Stefan Catsicas, José (Pepe) Saavedra and Heiko Schipper.

  • Keiko Abe is Professor Emeritus and Project Professor at the University of Tokyo. She leads a Health and Anti-Aging project at Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology (KAST) and is a committee member on several governments and corporate boards. She also heads Prime Minister Abe’s Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (2014–2019) on next-generation functional foods and agricultural-fishery products. She has received many honourable awards, including the Purple Ribbon Medal.

    Prof. Dr. Tamas Bartfai, is Professor, Department of Chemical Physiology, The Scripps Research Institute, USA; Visiting Professor of Drug Discovery, Department of Pharmacology Oxford University; Adjunct Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA and Department of Neurochemistry, University of Stockholm; former SVP Hoffman La Roche, Basel. He is a member of Academia Europae, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and an AAAs elected fellow and works on energy metabolism, fever, and the hypothalamic regulation of feeding and hermogenesis. Dr Bartfai has been involved in industry and academia in the development of several drugs that are in clinical use.

    Dominique C. Belli is Head of the Pediatric Department in the University Hospital of Geneva, Switzerland. He is a member of the Swiss Pediatric Committee on Nutrition, as well as of the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), having also served as a council member and Treasurer of ESPGHAN for several years.

    Adam Drewnowski is Director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition; Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington, and a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He has advised governments, foundations and industry on issues related to sustainable food and nutrition security and is the author of over 250 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Drewnowski is a trustee of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) and Chair of the board of trustees of ILSI Research Foundation.

    Susan M Gasser is the Director of the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research. She holds a professorship at the University of Basel, before which, she was Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Geneva. Recognised for her groundbreaking work in epigenetic inheritance and genome stability, she has been elected to the Académie de France, the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, EMBO, and has received multiple awards including the FEBS-EMBO Women in Science Award. An advisor to the European Commission, Susan Gasser also serves on scientific review panels for institutes across Europe.

    Michael Gibney is Professor of Food and Health at University College Dublin. He has previously held academic posts in nutrition at the medical schools of Trinity College Dublin and The University of Southampton. He served as the President of the Nutrition Society and has participated at high-level advisory committees to the EU and the UN, as well as national agencies. His research is focused on the integration of public health nutrition and molecular nutrition.

    Josef Penninger is founding director of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, and formerly a lead researcher at the Amgen Research Institute in Toronto. He has been awarded the Descartes Prize, the Wittgenstein Prize of the Austrian Federal Government, the Ernst Jung Prize for medical excellence, the Award as Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Innovator Award from Era of Hope/DOD and a second ERC Advanced Grant.

    Bruno Vellas is currently Chairman of the Toulouse Gerontopole, Chief of the Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at the Toulouse University Hospital, and Chief of the Alzheimer Disease Clinical Research Centre, University of Toulouse and member of INSERM (the National Institute of Medical Research) 1027 Unit on Aging. He was nominated Officier de la Légion d’Honneur and is a corresponding member of the French National Academy of Medicine.

    Weiping Wang is Honorary Director of the Pediatrics Research Institute at the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University. He has also served as President of the Children’s Hospital and Executive Vice-President of the former Shanghai Medical University (SMU). He is the Administrative Committeeman of the Committee of the Chinese Medical Association, and serves as a consultant to the Committee of the National Association of Growth and Development in children, in China.