How Nestle's chief got to the top

05/4/2009 | Financial Times (free content)

Paul Bulcke, a subdued Belgian with a solid work record, became CEO of Nestle a year ago, although outsiders had considered one of his charismatic colleagues the more likely choice. Bulcke took to bonding with Nestle colleagues while he was working in Peru during the years the Shining Path guerrillas terrorized the country, and the habit has served him well. "I'm trying always to simplify things," he says. "And I try to align people behind common purposes." He predicts the backlash against bottled water will pass and believes consumer trust is paramount. "It's hard to build up and you can lose it in the flash of a second," he says.

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