Ricardo Migueláñez. Agricultural Engineer @rmiguelanez
This week we are highlighting Laurent Dereux, Vice-Chairman and CEO of Nestlé Spain. Dereux studied Economics in France and received a Master's Degree from Paris Dauphine University. He is married and has three children and two grandchildren.
Dereux joined Nestlé in 1980. Initially he worked in Marketing of Deep-Frozen Foods in France and Canada. In 2002, he was transferred to Nestlé Group's head offices in Vevey (Switzerland), where he oversaw the company's European markets.
Later he took charge of the Chilled and Deep-Frozen Product Unit in Europe, which was created in 2004 with headquarters in Brussels, and then he returned to Vevey as the Head of Operations in Central and Eastern Europe.
In December 2008, he was appointed CEO of Nestlé Greece and Head of Southeast Europe, which includes Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Albania, and is based in Athens. He has been Vice-Chairman and CEO of Nestlé Spain since October 2013.
Dereux has been in Spain for more than two years and, under his leadership, in 2014 the company's revenues expanded by 0.9% in year-on-year terms, in part due to the 13.5% contribution by innovation to the total.
Sales growth in Spain has been considerable, up 1.1% to 1.541 billion euros. The sales volume of popular products has expanded by 7% in terms of volume and 4% in terms of value.
At Nespresso, for example, sales have increased favorably, leveraging the quality of its Grand Crus coffees and ongoing innovation. Nestlé remains a leader in the chocolate segment, which is one of the main areas driving the positive performance of emblematic brands such as Nestlé Extrafino, Nestlé Postres and Kit Kat. In the dairy sector, IDEAL evaporated milk remains a market leader with double-digit growth and has a presence in more than 300,000 new households.
Exports have also performed well since Dereux arrived, increasing by 0.3% due to the notable competitiveness of the company's 11 Spanish factories in which Nestlé has invested continuously. The lion's share of those investments is focused on production, and yielded 59 million euros.
As for product categories, Nescafé Dolce Gusto is the greatest source revenues, which expanded by 14% year-on-year, followed by instant coffee, green decaf coffee, food products for children, chocolate bars, dairy products and ice creams.
On a personal note, his colleagues describe him as very warm. According to his wife, his greatest quality is the confidence with which he carries himself. Those who know him and who work with him say he has a unique sense of humor which is very subtle and which makes the day-to-day more enjoyable when the inner workings of the company get complicated.
As for his hobbies, Dereux enjoys simple pleasures, such as reading a good book, watching movies and listening to music. On the Road, by Jack Kerouac, is one of his favorite books, and Forrest Gump is the one movie he can watch again and again. His musical taste is very eclectic, and he likes everything from Verdi and Puccini to The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen.
In short, he appreciates the simple things life offers, as evidenced by his life motto: "Do a good turn, smile every day and you will be happy".