The Nestle Pizza Division brands were acquired from Kraft Foods in 2010 for $3.7 billion. Nestle executive John Carmichael will return to the U.S. from his assignment as Nestle Zone Americas deputy in Vevey, Switzerland, to become president of Nestle Pizza on January 1, 2014. Paul Bakus, the current president of Nestle Pizza, has been named president of Corporate Affairs for Nestle in the market, effective January 1, 2014.
"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 Nestle USA chairman and CEO Paul Grimwood. "The decision also allows us to better manage our costs and to improve our efficiencies by operating as one Nestle with our retailers."
Nestle Pizza will join other Nestle USA businesses in Solon, Ohio, which include Nestle Prepared Foods, led by president Frank Higgins, and Nestle Baking, led by president Al Multari.
Together, Nestle's pizza, prepared foods and baking businesses employ approximately 8,800 people in 10 manufacturing locations across the U.S.
The relocated Pizza business will also benefit from close proximity to the expanding R&D facilities in Solon, Ohio. In June, Nestle announced its $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.
"We're extremely grateful for the support we've received from Ohio Governor John R. Kasich as well as the assistance provided by the JobsOhio organization," Grimwood added. "The JobsOhio team was very helpful in gathering the information we required to make the decision to move this business to Ohio. We also appreciate the support from the city of Solon led by Mayor Susan Drucker, who recognizes how important it is to secure good jobs for the community. The moves we're making along with the growth we expect to achieve will add approximately 250 Nestle jobs to the state of Ohio, where we already employ nearly 2,500 great employees."
The Ohio business community celebrated Nestle's decision to add to its existing base of business in the state.
"Nestle spent months determining the best place in the country to locate its pizza division," said Joe Roman, CEO and president of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP). "It was a very competitive process between potential locations. Obviously, we're thrilled the decision is Cuyahoga County, and we look forward to supporting Nestle operations in the future."
"We are delighted to welcome Nestle Pizza to the growing number of internationally recognized companies that see the advantages of doing business in Northeast Ohio," said Tom Waltermire, CEO, Team Northeast Ohio (Team NEO). "Team NEO, along with the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the City of Solon, Cuyahoga County and leaders from the business community worked together to showcase all we have to offer for Nestle and its employees.
"Ohio's world-class research and technology expertise, food product knowledge, and related manufacturing capabilities are uniquely helping Nestle and other global companies find success," said John Minor, JobsOhio president and chief investment officer. "With our partners Team NEO and the City of Solon, we are excited about Nestle's commitment and value the opportunity to be a part of the company's growth here in Ohio."
Employees in Northbrook were notified of the decision to move the business last week. The majority will be offered the opportunity to relocate to Ohio.
The Nestle Pizza Division also operates two pizza production bakeries in the cities of Little Chute and Medford, both in Wisconsin. These facilities and their employees will not be relocating to Ohio.