Battling the Maggi controversy, global giant Nestle today recalled its current India chief Etienne Benet to Switzerland head office and appointed Suresh Narayanan as his successor — the first Indian to get this position after a gap of over 16 years.
Narayanan will take charge as the new Managing Director of Nestle India with effect from August 1.
The top-level change follows Nestle India being forced to recall its popular Maggi noodles from the market here though the company has challenged the food safety regulators’ orders in the Bombay High Court.
“Nomination has been received from Nestle SA for the appointment of Suresh Narayanan as the MD of Nestle India with effect from August 1, 2015,” Nestle India said in a filing to BSE.
Benet, who has been in his current position since October 1, 2013, will be leaving Nestle India on July 25 and relocating to Nestle Group Head Office in Switzerland, it added.
Narayanan, who had joined the Nestle Group in 1999 in India, is currently the Chairman and CEO of Nestle Philippines.
From 2005 to 2008, he was the head of sales for Nestle’s South Asia region where he introduced major structural and strategic changes in sales and customer management.
Last month, Nestle India had announced that it was in the process of destroying Maggi noodles worth Rs 320 crore after it was banned by the safety regulator FSSAI due to presence of excess lead and taste enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG).
On June 5, FSSAI had banned Maggi noodles, directing Nestle to immediately withdraw and recall all the nine variants from the market.