Pete Blackshaw is leaving Nestlé after nearly 8 years as one of the CPG company’s top marketing executives.
Today, Cincinnati-based Cintrifuse announced that Blackshaw will become its new CEO. According to the company’s statement, Blackshaw will help make the group “the No. 1 startup and entrepreneurial hub in the Midwest.”
Cintrifuse is a 6-year old “public-private partnership” created to help fund young tech companies in the area. Its backers include major Cincinnati companies like Kroger, Western & Southern Financial Group and Blackshaw’s former employer, P&G. The group additionally manages a “fund of funds” totaling $91 million.
According to its website, the group provides “high-growth, technology-based startups” with workspaces, tools and access to the offerings of partners like Amazon, Google and HubSpot. Eventually, many of these up-and-coming businesses will be acquired, in full or in part, by Cintrifuse backers.
“Greater Cincinnati has everything it takes to be the No. 1 startup hub in the Midwest: a vibrant and historic tech district, big companies eager to partner with small ones, great universities and a cost structure that keeps burn-rates crazy low,” Blackshaw said in a statement. “I believed this when I launched my first startup here and am more convinced than ever today. I’m thrilled to come back.”
That startup was a consumer service company called PlanetFeedback, which Blackshaw launched after serving as manager of several major P&G brands. His next startup, Intelliseek was later acquired by Nielsen, where he held several executive positions before joining Nestlé in 2011.
Blackshaw’s departure also comes as Nestlé makes big changes to its global marketing strategy. CFO Steve Presley became CEO in February, and the company quickly moved to cut costs and modernize its lines of prepared foods. The shift included a procurement-driven review of Nestlé’s U.S. creative agency roster that ended earlier this summer with WPP, Publicis and IPG winning new business.
“Pete Blackshaw has decided to pursue other interests outside of Nestlé effective end of October 2018,” said a Nestlé spokesperson. “Pete has been instrumental in leading the digital transformation at Nestlé, for which the company owes him tremendous gratitude and will continue to build on to achieve greater success in a connected world. We thank Pete for his many contributions to the Nestlé Group and wish him all the best in his next endeavor.”
One party with knowledge of the matter said Blackshaw’s departure had been seen as imminent for some time, but it is unclear whether the company is seeking to replace him.
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