Geir Harstad

Geir Harstad

Work History

Work History
Apr 2009 - Present

Global Group Product Director

Tetra Pak

Global Product Group Director – Business Unit Head with strategic and P&L responsibility.

·Developed the global strategy and led the launch of Tetra Evero Aseptic, the first ever aseptic carton bottle system. Full year one production capacity sold

·Improved profitability through product mix optimisation, supply chain cost savings and pricing for the Tetra Top system

·Improved customer line mechanical efficiency by 3% pts for the TT system

·Turned around declining sales trend with Global Key Account

2007 - 2009

Managing Director


Nestlé acquired Novartis Medical Nutrition in 2007

Managing Director (Vorsitzender der Geschäftsführung) Germany & Austria with full P&L and people responsibility; sales € 150 million, staff 550 incl. factory

·Led the integration of Novartis Nutrition into Nestlé Nutrition incl:

ØMerged two organisations and office locations into one realising 30% headcount and function costs reductions (excl factory).

ØNegotiated with the chemical & food workers councils with no labour disruption while building a true performance culture in the new organisation

ØTransferred Novartis SAP platform to Nestlé globe system (project costs € 3.2 mio) in 9 months compared to standard 18 months)

·Development of sales & product strategies for the combined businesses incl:

ØChannel, customer & user segmentation for hospital, nursing home,pharmacies, food services and weight management clinics and patients

ØBranding, product portfolio and pricing optimisation. Alignment of commercial terms.

2005 - 2007

Managing Director

Novartis Consumer Health

Nestlé acquired Novartis Medical Nutrition in 2007

Managing Director (Vorsitzender der Geschäftsführung) Germany & Austria with full P&L and people responsibility; sales € 150 million, staff 550 incl. factory

Novartis Medical Nutrition GmbH, Munich, Germany

Managing Director Germany & Austria with full P&L and people responsibility; sales € 100 million, staff 500 incl. factory

·Developed and executed strategy to secure profitable growth outside traditional homecare channel following a change in reimbursement policy.

·Set-up Key Account Management resulting in double digit growth among top 10

·Established a strategic alliance with Baxter for hospital & home care patients to extend the value chain and the customer base

Results: Double digit growth in targeted channels; pharmacy, weight management clinics & food services

2002 - 2005

Vice President

Novartis Medical Nutrition

Novartis Consumer Health, Nyon, Switzerland

Vice President/General Manager Medical Nutrition International with full P&L and people responsibility for Europe (except Germany, Spain and France), MEA, Asia and Latam; sales of >US $ 100m, staff of 380

·Established business unit dedicated country organisations (from cross BU country organisation) and grouped 25 countries into 7 country clusters

·Led the acquisition and successfully integrated the Semper MN business (US$ 12m sales) across the Nordic region; in-licensed Sustagen (US $ 10m)business from Mead Johnson in Australia

·Key player of the due diligence and integration team of the Mead Johnson Healthcare Nutrition acquisition (US $ 450m)

Results: Sales + 30%/year ROS +3-5% pts/year

2000 - 2002

Global Business Unit Head

Novartis Consumer Health

Novartis Consumer Health, Nyon, Switzerland

Global Business Unit Head Medical Nutritionresponsible forworld-wide strategy, marketing, sales development, business development andlicensing (M&A), R&D as well as overall co-ordinator of other HQ shared services functions.

·Led the development of the overall global strategy and ensuring compliance in local market operating plans resulting in sales +10%/year (twice market growth) and double digit bottom line growth

·Developed & rolled out the global brand and product strategy

·Led the development of 8 new products and 12 line extensions accounting for 50% of total sales growth

·Entered Japan through a licensing agreement

1998 - 2000

Vice President

Burger King

Burger King, London, UK

Vice President, General Manager Franchise Markets Central & Eastern Europe, MEA

·Led and developed the Burger King franchise business throughout the region consisting of 300 restaurants and system sales of US $ 220m

Results: Opened 110 new restaurants; Successfully negotiated regional contract for 6 new countries in the Middle East (opened first restaurants in Lebanon and Jordan)

1992 - 1998

Group Brand Manager


Procter & Gamble, Geneva, Switzerland

European Group Brand Manager (leading a multifunctional team)

·Developed marketing strategies and plans for Pringles Europe, set-up the Pringles European HQ

Results: +80% turnover growth (from US $ 120m in FY96/97 to US $ 220m going FY97/98); 2 new European advertising campaigns (incl. consumer insight, concept development, storyboard, casting and production); Launched Pringles in Norway, Greece, Portugal, Italy & Spain

Brand Management positions in paper, laundry & cleaning as well as food products in Switzerland and the Scandinavian markets

1987 - 1992

Country Manager

Tetra Pak

Tetra Pak, Lausanne, Switzerland

Country Manager Romania, Bulgaria and Albania

·Set-up local office in Bucharest and representation office in Sofia. Sold 5 packaging lines/plants to Romania including securing an export finance guarantee of US $ 9m from Swedish export authorities

Joint Venture Co-ordinator, Moscow, Russia

·Co-ordinated the establishment of 3 joint ventures; packaging material factory, juice factory and a technical service centre/machine assembly plant of a total investment of US $ 120m

Tetra Pak SA, Lausanne, Switzerland

International Management Trainee


Skilled business executive with international experience in the FMCG, health care, franchising and packaging industry of which the last 12 years in General Management positions in global blue chip companies. Proven expertise in marketing, sales, business development and M&A. Unique blend of HQ (matrix) and operational line management with solid P&L and balance sheet track record. Strong leadership and change management skills, results & customer/consumer focused with a passion for winning. Worked in 6 countries from Brazil to Russia.


Aug 1983 - Aug 1987


Stockholm School of Economics
1986 - 1986


Fundacao Getulio Vargas

Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

MBA exchange program one semester