Plans call for Mercé, formerly CEO of Nestlé Purina Latin America & Caribbean, to take over leadership of Nestlé Waters North America starting May 1.
In the new role, Mercé will oversee all Nestlé Waters North America’s operations in the United States and Canada. He also will serve as a member of the global Nestlé Waters board of directors.
“Today, we are at an inflection point in the North American consumer beverage category, and I’m looking forward to becoming a part of it,” Mercé said in a statement. “Following a shift over many years, bottled water is now America’s No. 1 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.”
Nestlé Waters North America’s roster of bottled water brands includes Poland Spring, Nestlé Pure Life, Perrier and S. Pellegrino. The Stamford, Conn.-based firm said it’s the third largest non-alcoholic beverage company by volume in the United States.
“I am delighted that Fernando will be leading Nestlé Waters North America as it begins an exciting new chapter,” commented Maurizio Patarnello, chairman and CEO of Nestlé Waters. “His proven leadership, passion for innovation and deep commitment to creating a learning culture will enrich our strong NWNA teams and ensure that we build on our growth legacy to retain our leadership position in the category.”
The company noted that while at Nestlé Purina Latin America & Caribbean, Mercé oversaw a sustained period of strong results, including double-digit gains in organic growth, profitability and market share, along with introductions of key innovations to the pet care category.
Mercé started his career with Nestlé in 1992 as an industrial engineer with the operations improvement team before joining the marketing department. His roles have included e-business development, director of marketing for the Friskies brand, global marketing director in the pet care global business unit. He also served as vice president and deputy of Nestlé’s Americas Zone before moving to Nestlé Purina.
Nestlé added that Carlos Romano, business executive officer for food and beverages in Argentina, will be joining Nestlé Purina in taking over from Mercé as president of Nestlé Purina Latin America and Caribbean.