Kraft announces new executive team

Kraft Foods Inc. announced a new executive team that is said to sharpen the company's focus on innovation, marketing and growth.

"Our new team will build a Kraft that is bolder, more agile, more creative and more focused," said Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft Foods. "We're putting more day-to-day decision-making in the hands of our North American sectors and international regions — the people closest to our consumers, customers and markets. And, we will focus more intensely on consumers' evolving food and beverage needs to take full advantage of our broad product portfolio and to accelerate growth."

Kraft is taking a number of actions to support these objectives:

  • Jeri Finard was named to the newly created position of executive vice president and chief marketing officer to lead Consumer Innovation and Marketing Services. This new group merges the company's Global Category Development and Global Marketing Resources and Initiatives (GMRI) functions.

    As a result of combining these two groups, Paula Sneed, executive vice president of GMRI, has chosen to leave Kraft after a transition period. During this time, she will advise the company on a number of marketing excellence initiatives.

  • Rick Searer was named executive vice president and president of Kraft North America Commercial (KNAC). He has been with the company for 25 years, most recently serving as group vice president and president, North America Convenient Meals Sector — currently the company's fastest-growing North American sector.

    Given the redefined roles within KNAC and a desire to pursue his own career aspirations, Dave Johnson, executive vice president and president of KNAC, has chosen to leave the company.

  • Hugh Roberts, executive vice president and president of Kraft International Commercial (KIC), informed the company of his intention to retire. An external search has been under way for his replacement. Roberts will stay on until early next year to assist with the transition.

  • David Brearton was named executive vice president, Global Business Services and Strategy, which includes responsibility for areas such as information systems, business process improvement, and mergers and acquisitions. Alene Korby will continue in her role as executive vice president and chief information officer, reporting to Brearton, while also assuming leadership for managing the company's outsourced and shared services.

    Linda Hefner, executive vice president, Global Strategy and Business Development, will leave Kraft following a transition period.

  • Marc Firestone was appointed to the newly created position of executive vice president, Corporate and Legal Affairs and General Counsel. He will lead the company's communications, government affairs, community involvement, law and compliance activities.

Continuing in their current roles are: Jim Dollive, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Karen May, executive vice president, Global Human Resources; Jean Spence, executive vice president, Global Technology and Quality; and Franz-Josef Vogelsang, executive vice president, Global Supply Chain.

The nine members of Kraft's executive team report to Rosenfeld, who was named CEO in June 2006. These management changes are effective immediately.

"Our new management team will tap into the potential of our people to make the changes necessary to support our quest for faster growth," Rosenfeld said.

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