The 53-year-old Martello will take charge at Nestle in April, when Jim Singh retires, at 65. Vevey, Switzerland-based Nestle said in a statement yesterday. Martello is currently Bentonville, Ark.-based , and previously held posts at Kraft Foods Inc. and Borden Foods Corp.
"She comes with a celebrated resume and has the required exposure to this business as both a supplier and a customer," Thomas Russo, a partner at Gardner Russo & Gardner in Lancaster, Pa., told Bloomberg News. "She's also multilingual, which is quite attractive," said Russo, who manages about $4 billion, including Nestle shares. Martello speaks Mandarin and Hokkien Chinese, and Tagalog, in addition to English.
Nestle has touted its goal of achieving greater expansion in Asia. The world's largest food company, Nestle's biggest Chinese acquisition was in July. The company aims to collect 45% of its revenue from developing countries by 2020. That's up from about a third currently --- but still less than the 50% that rival Unilever brings in from Asian markets.
Specifically, Nestle has focused more on Internet sales with products such as Nespresso coffee, Special-T tea and BabyNes infant formula. The company created a website in Germany called Nestle Marktplatz this month to sell 1,500 products, including Baci Perugina and KitKat Mini chocolates, according to Bloomberg News.