Source: Nestlé

Watson has spent the last six years heading up Nestlé UK & Ireland’s confectionery division

Nestlé has appointed Richard Watson as CEO of its UK & Ireland business.

Watson will replace Stefano Agostini, taking effect on 1 March 2023, as Agostini steps into a new role as Nestlé’s head of confectionery for Europe.

Agostini joined Nestlé in 1989 and became CEO of its UK and Ireland business in 2017.

He set “ambitious targets for growth” and led the business to a turnover of more than £3bn during a period of “substantial global change”, said Nestlé.

Watson, meanwhile, has spent the last six years heading up Nestlé UK & Ireland’s confectionery division where he built a team that has “driven growth, increased market share and pioneered a number of significant innovations in the category”.

Having originally joined the global business in 1996, Watson became Purina MD for UK&I, the Netherlands and the Nordics in 2010.

He then moved into the role of UK&I confectionery MD in 2017.

“I am honoured and incredibly excited to be taking on such an important role at such an important time,” said Watson.

“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.”

Agostini said it had been “a pleasure and a privilege to lead this great business in the UK and Ireland”.

“I am proud of the many things we have achieved as a team, the way we have risen to challenges and moved our business forward.”

“I am excited about the challenge ahead, leading our confectionery business across Europe, and I wish Richard all the very best as he steps into a role that I have truly enjoyed for the last six years.”