Sector News

Heinz executives to dominate Kraft Heinz leadership

July 1, 2015
Food & Drink
The leadership of Kraft Heinz Co will be dominated by former executives of H.J. Heinz Co after that company merges with Kraft Foods Group Inc (KRFT.O), both companies said.
 
Eight of the 10 executives named on Monday to the combined company’s senior leadership team come from Heinz, including Chief Financial Officer Paulo Basilio.
 
They will work under Bernardo Hees, who is to become Kraft Heinz’s chief executive after holding the same position at Heinz. Brazilian firm 3G Capital and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) bought Heinz in 2013.
 
The departure of eight Kraft executives by year end, including CFO James Kehoe, was also announced on Monday.
 
The two who will remain are Jim Savina, who will become Kraft Heinz’s general counsel, and George Zoghbi, who will become chief operating officer of the U.S. commercial business.
 
Kraft Heinz’s board will also have a Heinz flavor, with six directors coming from 3G and Berkshire, and five from Kraft.
 
Shareholders of Kraft are scheduled to vote on July 1 on the merger, which would put brands including Heinz ketchup, Kraft cheese, Oscar Mayer cold cuts, Maxwell House coffee and Planters peanuts under one roof.
 
Berkshire and 3G would own 51 percent of the combined company, and 3G would oversee day-to-day operations.
 
The Brazilian firm has become known for cutting costs, which contributed to a 41 percent increase in Heinz’s first-quarter profit even as sales fell.
 
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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