VEVEY—Nestlé has appointed Janet Voûte. former chief executive of the World Heart Federation, as its global vice president for public affairs, in a move that has drawn criticism from some health activists.


Voûte replaces Niels Christiansen, who retired last month after 18 years with Nestlé, and reports to corporate communications director, Rudolf Ramsauer. She was chief executive of the World Heart Foundation for eight years until mid-2008 and has recently been leading a project at the World Health Organisation focused on combating non-communicable diseases.

Before joining the World Heart Federation, Voûte was vice-president and partner of Bain & Company, the international strategy consulting firm, where she was responsible for leading European and Asian multinational client projects in growth strategy, marketing, organization design and supply chain management. She also spent four years as a venture capitalist and strategic planner focused on the development of consumer goods growth strategies in Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Italy and Spain, and on the evaluation of investment opportunities for Euroventures in Switzerland.


Voûte’s appointment has prompted concern in the activist community. Patti Rundall of the International Baby Food Action Network told reporters she was “very disturbed, while not altogether surprised,” by the move. “This is a company that according to our global independent monitoring reports, continues to market its products in ways that undermine breastfeeding and optimal child nutrition.”