Press & Links

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe to be Given Lifetime Achievement Award at CNBC’s European Business Leaders Awards 2009


CNBC has announced that the Lifetime Achievement Award for the CNBC European Business Leaders Awards (EBLA) 2009 will be presented to Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of Nestlé S.A.

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe will receive the Award at a gala ceremony on 26th March 2009 in central London.

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe was selected by the CNBC EBLA judges for his outstanding contribution to business and leadership of the Nestlé Group.  Between 1997 and 2007, when Brabeck-Letmathe was CEO of the Group, he achieved an average organic growth of 5.9%, growing the company’s sales from 70 billion Swiss Francs to 108 billion.  He also improved the EBIT by 370 basis points to 14%.

The judges noted Mr. Brabeck’s transformation of Nestlé.  Mr. Brabeck was the architect and driver of the company’s transition from a leading food & beverage company into the world’s leading R&D based nutrition, health and wellness company.

The judges praised his long expansive career at Nestlé, which he first joined in 1968 as an ice cream salesman.  He then went on to spend a significant part of his career in Latin America, moving from sales manager and marketing director in Chile, to CEO of Nestlé Ecuador and later to Chairman/CEO of Nestlé Venezuela.

In 1987 he was transferred to Nestlé's international headquarters in Switzerland as a Senior Vice-President, with worldwide responsibility of its Culinary Products Division.

He was then appointed Executive Vice-President in 1992, where he assumed worldwide leadership of strategic business groups, while simultaneously being in charge of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs.  In this role, he devised and implemented Nestlé's brand strategy, consisting of a clear hierarchy of strategic brands on a global, regional and local level.

In July 2000, as CEO, he launched GLOBE, an innovative group-wide initiative aimed at harmonising and simplifying business process architecture.  GLOBE enables Nestlé to realise the advantages of a global leader by combining decentralised decision-making in all marketing aspects with operational efficiency of the back office function.

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe led the Nestlé Group from 1997 to 2008, first as CEO, till 2005, and then as Chairman and CEO.  In April 2008, he handed over the office of CEO while remaining Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Mr. Brabeck serves as a Vice-Chairman of both L’Oréal and Credit Suisse Group.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Roche Holding S.A and Delta Topco Limited (Formula 1).

In his role as member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum (WEF), chairman of the International Business Council (IBC) and member of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), Peter Brabeck-Letmathe participates actively in industrial, social and political global issues and has been a major driver in putting the water issue on the international agenda.


The CNBC EBLA 2009 winners will be announced and celebrated at a gala Awards ceremony, hosted by CNBC anchors Maria Bartiromo and Ross Westgate.

The Awards programme, which is presented by CNBC and conducted in partnership with the Financial Times, is now in its sixth year and was created to identify and honour those CEOs who are making a difference through leadership and innovation in their industry sectors.

The Lifetime Achievement Award winner was selected by panel of judges that consisted of 2008 EBLA winners: Aditya Mittal, CFO, ArcelorMittal;Dr Mike Lynch, CEO, Autonomy; Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Fiat; Nani Becalli-Falco, President & CEO, GE International; Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, Chairman, L’Oreal; Natalie Massenet, Founder & Chairman, Net-a-Porter.  Professor Seán Meehan, Professor of Marketing and Change Management at IMD, Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times and Barbara Stelzner, Vice President of News and Programming, EMEA at CNBC also sat on judges panel, with Sir William Castell, Chairman of the Wellcome Trust, who is its chair.

Dossiers on each of the finalists were produced by IMD.  Media partners for the Awards are CNBC European Business, FOCUS and TIME Magazine.