Stefan Palzer's passion for food can be traced back to his days growing up on a family farm. But even then, he realized that a good education would be necessary to achieve his goals. So after starting his career with an apprenticeship in the beverage industry, Palzer studied food technology at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, where he later obtained his doctorate in process engineering. A dedicated student, he also earned an MBA in marketing from the University of Hagen, Germany.

These impressive accomplishments in academia are only matched by the numerous career accomplishments by Palzer, who joined Nestlé in 2000 at the R&D center for food in Kemptthal, Switzerland. Since then, he has spent more than two decades working for the company in different functions. From 2010 to 2013, he led Nestlé's confectionary R&D in York, England. He later became R&D Director for Nestlé's beverage businesses, a position he held from 2013 to 2017. During this time, he was awarded the title of a Nestlé fellow (one of only three amongst the approximately 380,000 Nestlé employees) in recognition of his deep expertise in food process engineering and material science. Subsequently, Palzer served as the head of Nestlé's research organization before taking up his current position in January 2018.

Become a Subscriber

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading this article.

Subscribe Now

Continuing his upward trajectory, Palzer joined the Executive Board of Nestlé S.A. as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer in January 2018. As CTO, he leads the company's teams focused on leveraging cutting-edge science and technology to deliver innovation around the globe.

But Palzer has not cut his close ties to academia. The CTO also serves as an Associate Professor in Food Science and Technology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark; is an Honorary Professor in Food Technology at the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim in Germany; serves as a Professor in Process Engineering at the University of Hamburg, Germany; and is a Visiting Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, England.

Furthermore, throughout his long career, he has received many awards and accolades within academia. In 2015, for instance, he was made an Ambassador at the University of Hamburg, where he continues to share his passion for ongoing improvements in food technology.