LONDON/BERLIN: Nestle, the world's biggest packaged food company, said on Tuesday it had hired the London Stock Exchange Group's (LSEG) finance chief Anna Manz as its new chief financial officer.

Manz will replace Francois-Xavier Roger, who the company said is stepping down to "pursue new professional challenges" after eight years in the role.

Nestle, whose more than 2,000 brands include Kit Kat, Haagen-Dazs and Nescafe, said Manz will join Nestle as soon as she is released from her current duties.

She will become a member of Nestle's executive board as an executive vice president. Currently, there are five women on the 15-person board.

Manz, who also spent 17 years at spirits maker Diageo , will begin her role at a time when the consumer goods industry is dealing with significant cost inflation and pressure on margins due to high prices for energy and other commodities.

"We trust that Anna will pursue Francois' legacy, considering her strong career at Diageo," Vontobel analyst Jean-Philippe Bertschy said.

"Francois has had a successful eight years with Nestle," Bertschy said, highlighting "costs savings of several billion over the years" and "optimization of the working capital to an unprecedented low level at Nestle" as among his achievements.

Rival Unilever Plc also said on Tuesday that CFO Graeme Pitkethly would leave the consumer goods giant by the end of May 2024 after more than two decades. (Writing by Friederike Heine; Editing by Linda Pasquini and Jan Harvey)