Nestlé has appointed company veteran and “top marketer” Fiona Kendrick to take over from UK & Ireland chief executive Paul Grimwood.

Kendrick is returning home to take Grimwood’s place when he becomes CEO of Nestlé USA in October after three years running the UK & Ireland business.

His successor has spent the past four years running the global coffee business from Nestlé’s Swiss HQ. Prior to that, Kendrick held various sales and marketing roles with Nestlé UK.

She is a well-respected marketer with a strong understanding of consumers, said a senior figure at a rival company. “I have the highest regard for Fiona. She is an exceptional marketer and I’m sure she will only do good for Nestlé in the UK,” he said.

Her in-depth knowledge of the Nestlé coffee business should prove useful in her new role. Earlier this year, the company announced it was closing its coffee factory in Hayes in 2014 and spending £200m to extend production at the Nescafé factory in Tutbury, Derbyshire. It is spending another £110m expanding the Dolce Gusto facility, also in Tutbury.

Kendrick joined Nestlé in 1980, working for Findus in the frozen food division. She became general manager of the division in 1991 before moving into the out-of-home coffee business, overseeing the introduction of Nescafé into Burger King. From 2001, she was head of the food and beverage business (excluding confectionery and cereals) at Nestlé UK for six years.