Nestlé plans to relocate its pizza business from Northbrook, Ill., to Solon, Ohio. Nestlé Pizza operates the Digiorno, California Pizza Kitchen, Tombstone and Jack's brands. The company anticipates completing the move by mid-2014.
The Nestlé Pizza Division brands were acquired from Kraft Foods in 2010 for $3.7 billion. The acquisition allowed the company to expand its frozen prepared foods category.
Nestlé executive John Carmichael will return to the U.S. from his assignment as Nestlé Zone Americas deputy in Vevey, Switzerland, to become president of Nestlé Pizza Jan. 1, 2014. Paul Bakus, the current president of Nestlé Pizza, has been named president of corporate affairs for Nestlé in the market, effective Jan. 1, 2014.
"By moving Nestlé Pizza to Ohio, we'll bring together terrific brands and powerful businesses that will create many more talent development opportunities for our employees," said Nestlé USA chairman and CEO Paul Grimwood. "The decision also allows us to better manage our costs and to improve our efficiencies by operating as one Nestlé with our retailers."
The relocated pizza business will also benefit from close proximity to the expanding R&D facilities in Solon, Ohio. In June, the company announced its $53 million investment to build a product technology center dedicated to frozen and chilled foods research. The new facility is now under construction and will be operational in early 2015.
The Nestlé Pizza Division also operates two pizza production bakeries in the cities of Little Chute and Medford, both in Wis. These facilities and their employees will not be relocating to Ohio.