Topic: “The Importance of Stakeholder Engagement in an Activist World”
Location: Ballroom, Nittany Lion Inn
Introduction: Blannie Bowen
Moderator: Katie O’Toole
Kim Jeffery is the retired Chairman and CEO of Nestlé Waters North America, the leading bottled water company in North America and the third largest non-alcoholic beverage company in America. Nestle Waters owns 7 of the top 10 bottled water brands as well as Perrier and San Pellegrino, and had sales of $4.7 billion and 8,000 employees at the time of his retirement in 2014. He has over 44 years of experience in all facets of the consumer products industry including sales, marketing, M&A, manufacturing, logistics, sustainability and finance. Additionally, he managed the journey from entrepreneurial startup to mature multibillion market leader by focusing on organizational development and utilizing a values based leadership model which created a high performance culture.
Kim began his career with Kraft Foods where he spent four years. He then joined PepsiCo where he also spent four years before joining The Perrier Group of America in 1978 as the Central Division Manager. He was promoted to Western Division Manager in 1980 and then to Vice President of Sales in 1981. In 1987, he became Vice President of Sales and Marketing, COO in 1991 and President and CEO in 1992 when Nestle purchased the global holdings of The Perrier Group in France which included their North American subsidiary. Kim remained in that position until January of 2013 at which time he became the non-executive Chairman.
During Kim’s tenure as CEO, Nestle Waters grew from $650 million in revenue and a 24% share of category to $4.7 billion and a 40% share of category. Over 90% of the growth was organic. Nestle Waters, under his leadership, pioneered the bottled water industry in America and was responsible for the category’s ascendance to the number two most consumed beverage in America. Utilizing vertical integration in manufacturing including self-manufacture of packaging, hybrid distribution, high speed manufacturing and highly efficient logistics, Nestle Waters developed a disruptive business model which was much lower cost than traditional beverage manufacturing and distribution. Coupled with a belief that people and the level of their commitment matters, Nestle Waters became the fastest growing beverage company in America for the 15 years between 1995 and 2010.
Throughout Kim’s career, his commitment to outside stakeholders, the environment, sustainability and the people who worked for Nestle Waters was critical to the success of the company. Mr. Jeffery was the recipient of the Beverage Forum Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, was inducted into the Beverage Industry Hall of Fame in the fall of 2010 and is a member of the International Bottled Water Association Hall of Fame. Kim is a sought after speaker on issues of values based leadership and sustainability.
Kim retired in early 2014. He currently serves on the boards of Kendall Jackson Family Wines, Pratt/Visy Industries based in Melbourne, Australia, Carbonlite Industries, and Stew Leonard’s markets. Additionally, he is an advisor to private equity firm North Castle Partners and serves as Chairman of one of their portfolio companies, Sprout Foods. Kim also serves on the Boards of Keep America Beautiful, The Connecticut Council for Education Reform, and the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, CT. He and his wife Mary both serve on the Leadership Council of Americares. Kim and Mary live in Greenwich, CT with their four children.