Nestle Purina’s current CEO, Joseph R. Sivewright, will transition to become the company’s chairman on January 1, 2021; succeeding Sivewright will be Nina Leigh Krueger, who will become the CEO and president of Nestlé Purina PetCare for the Americas.
After joining the company 35 years ago, Sivewright held progressively more senior roles in marketing on PetCare, cereals and new products. He was appointed vice president in 1995 with roles in global marketing, and he served in the global strategic business unit after the 2001 acquisition of Ralston Purina by Swiss-based Nestlé S.A.
Sivewright became the leader of Nestlé Purina PetCare Latin America in 2004 and turned the business around from a net loss operation to high growth and profitability. He was appointed president of Nestlé Purina North America in 2011, and since then the company’s sales have risen 30 percent to $9.4 billion in 2019. During that time, Sivewright has led a number of significant transformations of the Purina business, including the acquisition of Merrick Pet Care in 2015 and building a robust e-commerce business that has delivered significant growth. Sivewright has served as CEO of Nestlé Purina for the Americas since 2015.
In his role as chairman, Sivewright’s primary responsibility will be to manage a smooth transition with Krueger, and to provide strategic and operating support. Additionally, he will remain engaged with Purina’s strategic sustainability initiatives and leading conservation partners and NGOs.
Krueger currently serves as president of Nestlé Purina PetCare U.S. She is a 27-year Purina veteran who will become the eighth CEO in the company’s history and Purina’s first female CEO.
Krueger started her career at Ralston Purina in 1993 as a brand management intern before moving to the cat food marketing team the following year. After Nestlé purchased the company in 2001, she led the marketing integration for the Nestlé Purina team. After several more successful years in pet food marketing, she moved to the cat litter division and was promoted to vice president of marketing in 2010. There she led several noteworthy innovations that drove growth in the business, particularly Tidy Cats LightWeight Litter. The litter division is now a growth driver for Nestlé Purina.
In 2015, Krueger was named chief marketing officer, Nestlé Purina U.S., and became president, Nestlé Purina U.S., in 2016.
A 1983 graduate of Miami (Ohio) University with a bachelor of science degree in marketing, Krueger earned a master of business administration from Washington University’s Olin School of Business in 1994. In 2017, she was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from the Olin School.
“Joe’s depth of experience, sound judgment and ability to skillfully lead a large organization has led to amazing growth and has Purina positioned for a bright future,” said Laurent Freixe, CEO of Nestlé Zone Americas. “Nina Leigh’s business acumen, exceptional leadership and communication skills, and ability to bring out the best in people make her the ideal successor to guide Purina for years to come.”