Zimbabwean sustainability expert, Professor Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, has been approved by shareholders to Nestlé’s Board of Directors at the company’s 154th Annual General Meeting held at Vevey, Switzerland.
Prof. Sibanda was proposed by the Nestlé board in February to replace American businesswoman, Ursula Burns, who decided not to seek re-election.
Aside from Burns, a Nestlé Board member since 2017, the other 13 members of the Board of Directors including the chairman were re-elected.
Proposing Prof. Sibanda, the Chairman of the Nestlé Board of Directors, Paul Buckle, extended immense gratitude to Ursula Burns for her “engagement, expert advice and valuable perspectives”.
“At the same time, we are delighted to propose Lindiwe as a new Board member. With her hands-on farming experience and her expertise in environmental sustainability, public policy and sustainable food systems, she will provide invaluable guidance along our journey to build regenerative food systems at scale. Her broad experience across the African continent as well as across the globe will enrich the Board’s insights”, said Paul Bulcke, Chairman of the Nestlé Board of Directors.
Prof. Sibanda, a Director and Chairwoman of the African Research Universities Alliance Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, comes to the table with a rich portfolio of accomplishments.
In addition to her role at the University of Pretoria, Prof. Sibanda is also the co-Chairwoman of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy.
She has also served as the Vice-President, Country Support, Policy and Partnerships for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa in Kenya.
For 13 years, she worked in South Africa as the CEO and Head of Mission of the pan-African Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network, operating in 19 African countries.
From 2016 to 2018, she served on the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems and as a member of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Policy Advisory Council. She is the Managing Director of Linds Agriculture Services in Harare, Zimbabwe.
With Professor Lindiwe Majele Sibanda’s successful election, the Nestlé Board will comprise 14 members, of which twelve are independent directors.
“Nestlé aims to continuously add diverse experience and unique perspectives to its board as well as to enhance its cultural and gender diversity”, an official statement noted.
In keeping with prevailing COVID19 protocols and for the health and safety of all stakeholders, Annual General Meeting was a departure from the usual in-person meeting in person.
Annual General Meeting in a Pandemic
Nestlé Chairman Paul Bulcke said, “Due to the pandemic we held our Annual General Meeting today without shareholders. I am proud of how Nestlé has proven to be reliable in these challenging times and thank our shareholders for their continued engagement and support. We look forward to seeing them again next year.”
However, “all legal proceedings were carried out as required. Shareholders were able to exercise their voting rights through the Independent Representative, who acted on behalf of 58.2 percent of Nestlé’s capital and 79.9 percent of Nestlé shares entitled to vote.”
The Board of Directors of Nestlé also sought the support of its shareholders for its published plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.