Nestle's Quick

Avid mountaineer Peter Brabeck wants his firm to move faster, but without losing its footing

Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty

Chairman and CEO of Nestle, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, gestures during the annual shareholders meeting of the Swiss based giant food company in Lausanne.

The Matterhorn, Switzerland's best-known mountain, is also one of its hardest to climb, requiring peak fitness and experience using crampons and ropes at high altitudes. That didn't deter Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, 58, the chief executive of Nestle, who has been mountaineering in the Alps since he was a child. He fulfilled a lifelong ambition last summer by reaching the 14,692-ft. summit. "It was just perfect," he says, his eyes sparkling at the memory.

The pleasure may have been greater because it was Brabeck's second try. Two years ago, he was within half an hour of the top when it began to snow...

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