Nestle USA shaking up frozen pizza business

by Keith Nunes
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SOLON, OHIO — Changes are under way for Nestle USA’s pizza division. The company is moving the business from Northbrook, Ill., to Solon, and John Carmichael, who is currently deputy of Nestle Zone Americas for Nestle S.A., will take the helm as president of the pizza business on Jan. 1, 2014. Paul Bakus, the current president of Nestle Pizza, has been named president of corporate affairs.

“By moving Nestle Pizza to Ohio, we’ll bring together terrific brands and powerful businesses that will create many more talent development opportunities for our Nestle employees,” said Paul Grimwood, chairman and chief executive officer of Nestle USA. “The decision also allows us to better manage our costs and to improve our efficiencies by operating as one Nestle with our retailers.”

Other business units based in Solon include Nestle Prepared Foods, which manufactures and markets the company’s Lean Cuisine, Hot Pockets and Stouffer brands, and Nestle Baking, which produces Toll House branded products.

The relocated pizza business also will benefit from close proximity to the company’s R.&D. facilities in Solon, according to Nestle. In June, the company announced a $53 million investment to build a product technology center dedicated to frozen and chilled foods research. The new facility is now under construction and will be operational in early 2015.

The company said employees in Northbrook were notified of the move last week and most will be offered an opportunity to relocate to Ohio.

The Nestle Pizza division also operates two pizza production bakeries in the cities of Little Chute and Medford, Wis. The plants and employees will not be relocating to Ohio.
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