Nicole Roos has been elected by Nestlé to follow Bruno Olierhoek, whose tenure ends on October 31, 2022, as the Managing Director for the East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR), which is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Olierhoek, who has been the region’s Chairman and Managing Director since 2018, will transition to a new position in due time.
At the moment, Roos serves as ESAR’s Business Executive Officer (BEO) for Coffee & Beverages. She started her career as a marketing trainee in South Africa twenty years ago, and today—a first for the company—she serves as the region’s first female managing director.
Roos began working at Nestlé in 2002, and she has since had a spectacular career. She was hired in 2004 as a Brand Manager for Nutrition and held various positions in the category with growing responsibility until 2008, when she relocated to the US. She had positions there as Product Manager, Senior Project Manager, and Cereals for Nutrition Product Manager.
She came back to South Africa in 2010 to work as the country business manager for infant nutrition for the senior leadership team of Southern Africa, a position she held for more than six years. Roos subsequently assumed her current position as BEO for Coffee and Beverages in 2016, and despite the difficulties of operating across several markets, she has helped the company grow into one of the most prosperous in the Africa Zone.
“I am delighted to be handing over the reins to Nicole. Nicole is a passionate African who understands the incredible opportunities the East and Southern Africa region has. With her extensive experience and knowledge of the diverse consumer base in various categories, Nicole will continue to strengthen our path to digitalisation, and sustain the ground-breaking circularity projects. I am confident that with her at the helm, our business is assured to fully realise its purpose to ‘unlock the power of food to enhance the quality of life for everyone, today and generations to come’,” said current Chairman and Managing Director, Bruno Olierhoek.
“I am honoured to be chosen to this job and pleased to be part of yet another milestone in the history of Nestlé in the region,” Roos said in accepting the appointment. “The fact that our company has the ability to not only provide affordable and accessible nutrition to African consumers but also to serve as a role model and an inspiration to others to safeguard, renew, and repair the resources on which we all rely truly moves me. I’m looking forward to tackling the difficult problems of generating genuine shared value for our employees, communities, shareholders, and society alongside our team members and partners.”
Having improved the economic underpinning of the ESAR region, Roos comes to the conclusion that she will build on the solid foundation Olierhoek would leave behind.