Nestle Rowntree hands UK control to Australia chief

LONDON - Nestle Rowntree, the UK's third-biggest confectionery firm, has picked a former Coca-Cola marketer as its managing director, an appointment insiders predict will trigger a shake-up of its marketing operations.

Chris White moved to Nestle Rowntree UK this week from the food giant's Australian ice cream business. He will take responsibility for a product portfolio including Smarties and Kit Kat.

White, who has worked for Coke in several Far Eastern markets, replaces John Sunley who has retired. White is understood to be planning major changes at Nestle, which a spokeswoman said would be outlined in the new year.

It is unclear how his appointment affects marketing director Andrew Harrison, who reports to White. Last week, Nestle denied rumours that he was moving to a more senior role at an unnamed food company. Harrison oversaw the launch of Double Cream and Nestle's 'Pop Idol' sponsorship. White and Harrison were unavailable for comment.

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