Tata Global Beverages CEO Resigns


Tata Global Beverages CEO Peter Unsworth resigned Tuesday and departs the company June 30.

Percy Siganporia, currently managing director, was named acting CEO. Tata, known until 1974 as Tata Tea, Ltd., owns the Tetley brand and partners with PepsiCo India in NourishCo, a joint venture to market natural food and beverages. The business is part of the $67 billion Tata conglomerate, the largest private corporation in India.

Tata-Tetley is the world’s second largest tea company next to Unilever.
Unsworth was CEO at Tetley Group, a company acquired by Tata Group in 2000. He was named CEO of the combined company last year. He joined the Tetley Group in 1996 as finance director and in 2007 was appointed COO. He became CEO in March 2008.

Unsworth, who is also non-executive director of the board of directors, cited personal reasons in his decision.

The company underwent a major reorganization in 2009 and shortly after entered into the PepsiCo joint venture. The firm rebranded Tetley in the past few weeks to promote its certification by the Rainforest Alliance with new packaging and offerings.

Tata suffered a 35 percent decline in net profit for the year ending March 31. Operating income increased 3 percent for the year but rising commodity costs and transportation expenses took a toll.

In a release Siganporia wrote that ''the business put in a good performance despite intense cost pressure from commodities and a challenging trading environment. Wherever possible we took price increases to sustain margins, continuing to invest behind our brands and so protect share and the long term health of our brands.''

Besides Tetley, Tata Global Beverages owns Tata Tea, Good Earth, Eight O’Clock Coffee and Himalayan. The group employs 3,000 worldwide and is headquartered in the UK. The Tetley Group was purchased by Tata Tea in 2000. Tata Tea manufactures 70 million kilograms of tea in India, controls 54 tea estates, ten tea blending and packaging factories and employs around 59,000 people.