Nestlé has appointed Stefan Catsicas as its new group CTO, replacing Werner Bauer who is retiring after 23 years at the company.

Professor Catsicas is currently provost and executive vice president of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.

Catsicas will take the role of executive vice president and CTO on September 1 after Bauer retires on August 31.

Catsicas, a Swiss citizen of Italian and Greek origin, holds a PhD in natural sciences from the University of Lausanne, and completed his post-doctoral studies at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego.

He started his career at the pharmaceutical company Glaxo in Geneva as head of neurobiology at the company's Institute of Molecular Biology.

He continued his career in academia at the University of Lausanne as professor and chairman of the Cell Biology Institute, and later as vice-president of research and professor of cellular engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL).

In 2005, he co-founded a private group of biotechnology companies, and he returned to academia in 2011 when he became provost at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestlé, said: "Werner Bauer shaped Nestlé's R&D capabilities for more than 20 years. He created a global R&D network and was instrumental in paving the way for our future activities in the area of health science.

"Bringing together his extensive experience in academia, open innovation and business Stefan Catsicas has the right competences to reinforce and advance our R&D capabilities."