Chris White, MD of Nestlé Rowntree, has left the company by mutual agreement. The no-nonsense New Zealander was appointed two years ago. He was previously general manager for the Nestlé ice cream business unit within Nestlé Oceania.
White made waves by declaring that Nestlé Rowntree was “in crisis” - leading to him being dubbed “blunder boss” by analysts. Although Nestlé said his comments had been taken out of context, White also claimed that ad campaigns had failed to
generate sales and the company had “missed opportunities such as getting into cereal bars”.
The MD role will now be handed to Paul Grimwood, who takes up his new position on December 1.
Grimwood joined Nestlé Purina Petcare in January 2002 and eight months later was appointed regional director UK & Ireland. He became head of operations for Zone Europe, based in Switzerland, in July.
According to Nestlé, during his time at Nestlé Purina he was instrumental in delivering a consistently strong performance.
Alastair Sykes, chairman and chief executive of Nestlé UK, said: “During the last two years, Nestlé Rowntree has gone through major change.
“Intensive commercial and new product activity has stabilised market share, but Nestlé Rowntree now needs to deliver sustainable business improvement based on the performance of its core brands.”
Scottish Grocers’ Federation chief executive Scott Landsburgh has now handed over the reins to John Drummond. Landsburgh has secured a short-term part-time contract to do Somerfield’s public affairs and trade relations in Scotland.

M&S has appointed Lady Louise Patten and Jeremy Darroch as non-executive directors. Lady Patten is chairman of property company Brixton and a non-executive director for Somerfield, Bradford & Bingley and retail and business services group GUS. Darroch is chief financial officer of BSkyB. They will take up their new roles in February 2006.

Andrew King has been appointed commercial director of Blueheath and not director of buying, as reported in The Grocer last week. This corrects information supplied by Blueheath.
Beth Brooks
SGF handover
M&S non-execs
king’s job