Rudolf Ramsauer | Influence 100
Charting the future of public relations

Rudolf Ramsauer

Senior vice president, corporate communications director
Nestle

There’s something about Nestlé’s ubiquity around the world that makes the company a magnet for controversy, to the lingering ill-will generated by the company’s marketing of infant formula in Africa to the more recent furor over its use of palm oil from Malaysia. Perhaps it’s the company’s sensitivity that makes it a tempting target. Nestlé is a company that wants to be liked, as corporate communications director Rudolf Ramsauer makes clear when he talks about the need to “create shared value” rather than using PR as a tool to “lobby” stakeholders. Ramsauer is responsible for relationships with employees, consumers, governments, NGOs, community associations, and investors and has developed an approach that begins with listening and focuses on personal engagement rather than an over-reliance on media channels. That approach—along with a willingness to recruit people with NGO experience to help build bridges—has led to strong alliances, including some with former critics. Prior to joining Nestlé in 2007, Ramsauer was the chairman of the executive board at economiesuisse (the Swiss Business Federation), and prior to that executive director of the Swiss Federation of Commerce & Industry. He also served as vice director of the Swiss Ministry for Foreign Economic Affairs and as deputy permanent representative of Switzerland to the GATT.