Nestlé could leave Switzerland

Posted by Isobel Drake on 14th September 2009

Nestlé, the world’s largest food manufacturer, has threatened to move their home base away from Switzerland if the country places a cap on executive salaries.”It would be the beginning of an end,” Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck reportedly told Sonntag, a Swiss newspaper, as he saw it as a sign that the country had lost its legal certainty.

High executive salaries, which have bordered on the obscene on Wall Street, have been in the firing line around the world ever since the onset of the global financial crisis. As a result, the Swiss Government in contemplating new laws to cap wages in response to the public outcry.

Such a plan would result in the iconic Swiss company “ask(ing)… whether Switzerland is still the right location for us,” Mr Brabeck advised.

The most attractive characteristic of Switzerland had been the “legal security” that it offers, Nestlé’s Chairman noted, but this has recently “been dampened”.

“For Switzerland as a location, it is important that legal certainty stays – it must in part even be rebuilt,” he concluded.