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Nestle Says Duvoisin to Become Head of Nespresso Next Year

Nestle SA said human resources director Jean-Marc Duvoisin will run the Nespresso coffee division from next year as Richard Girardot, who now leads the unit, takes control of the company’s French business.

Duvoisin, who previously ran businesses in Latin America, will take up the new position on March 1, the Vevey, Switzerland-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Martial Rolland, who runs the French business, will become head of Nestle Professional, which sells to restaurants and hotels, replacing Marc Caira, who retires at the end of April.

“While the choice of a HR executive may seem unusual, Nestle has an excellent production line in developing top managers and Duvoisin obviously has experience internationally, which should help Nespresso’s development outside its home Europe market,” said Jon Cox, head of Swiss research at Kepler Capital Markets in Zurich.

Nespresso has been one of the company’s fastest-growing businesses over the past decade and had revenue of 3.5 billion Swiss francs ($3.7 billion) in 2011, or about 4 percent of Nestle’s sales. The unit faces increased competition from companies including D.E Master Blenders 1753 NV that sell single-serve capsules that are compatible with its machines.

Master Blenders markets its L’Or capsules in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain, while Ethical Coffee Co.’s competing capsules are available in at least 10 countries including Austria and Germany.

Duvoisin has worked at Nestle since 1986, running the food company’s business in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Mexico.

Nestle has said the premium-coffee unit will have more than 300 boutiques by the end of this year.

The Swiss food company today also named Peter Vogt, who runs Nestle’s business in Malaysia and Singapore, to replace Duvoisin as head of human resources.

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