Stamford-based Nestlé Waters North America has announced that Fernando Mercé will take over as its president and CEO effective May 1. Mercé, formerly CEO of Nestlé Purina Latin America & Caribbean, will oversee all Nestlé Waters North America’s operations in both the U.S. and Canada, and will serve as a member of the global Nestlé Waters board of directors.
Mercé replaces Tim Brown as president and CEO. Brown resigned in early March to become president/chief operating officer of Greek yogurt company Chobani.
Mercé began his career with Nestlé in 1992 as an industrial engineer with the operations improvement team, before joining marketing and steadily increasing his responsibilities. His roles have included e-business development, director of marketing for the Friskies brand; global marketing director in the PetCare Global Strategic Business Unit; and vice president and deputy of Nestlé’s Americas Zone before moving to Nestlé Purina.
“Today, we are at an inflection point in the North American consumer beverage category,” Mercé said. “Following a shift over many years, bottled water is now America’s number one beverage choice, displacing carbonated soft drinks. As this migration continues, we are well-positioned to expand in the United States and Canada with leading brands that are poised for strong growth.”