Kraft Heinz Merger Complete; Eduardo Luz Heads US Frozen

It’s official: the Kraft Heinz Company has been formed following the successful completion of the merger between Kraft and Heinz. The transaction creates the third largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth largest in the world, with a sweeping portfolio of name brands. In the frozen food sector, it proprietary labels include Ore-Ida potato products, Weight Watchers Smart Ones entrées, and T.G.I. Friday’s appetizers and snacks.

Weight-Watchers-Smart-OnesThe complementary nature of the two brand portfolios presents substantial opportunity for synergies, says the company, which will result in increased investments in marketing and innovation. Meanwhile, management’s immediate focus is on integrating the two businesses and establishing a new organizational structure.

Kraft Heinz is committed to maintaining its home bases of operation, according to an announcement. The Heinz brand and business will remain based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Kraft brand and business will maintain headquarters in Northfield, Illinois.

Management and Governance
The board of directors at Kraft Heinz is comprised of the following 11 persons: Alex Behring (chairman), Gregory Abel, Tracy Britt Cool, Warren Buffett, John T. Cahill (vice chairman), L. Kevin Cox, Jeanne P. Jackson, Jorge Paulo Lemann, Mackey J. McDonald, John C. Pope and Marcel Telles.

Also as previously announced, Bernardo Hees is the company’s chief executive officer.

Other members of the senior leadership team are: Paulo Basilio, executive vice president and cfo; Matt Hill, zone president of Europe; Emin Mammadov, zone president of Russia, India and Middle East, Turkey and Africa; Michael Mullen, senior vice president of corporate and government affairs; Eduardo Pelleissone , executive vice president of global operations; Marcos Romaneiro, zone president of Asia Pacific; Francisco Sa, zone president of Latin America; Jim Savina, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary; Melissa Werneck, senior vice president for global human resources, performance and IT.

Ore-IdaGeorge Zoghbi has been appointed to the position chief operating officer of US commercial business, where he will lead the company’s more than $19 billion business in that country. The following personnel will report to him:

Eduardo Luz, president of the ketchup, condiments, sauces, dressings and frozen business; Joe Fragnito, president of the beverages and snack nuts business; Howard Friedman, president of the cheese and dairy business; Mark Magnesen, president of the meat business; Tom Lopez, president of the meal solutions and desserts business; David Toy, president of foodservice; Sergio Nahuz, head of sales; Nina Barton, senior vice president of marketing innovation, research and development.

Andre Maciel, head of US commercial finance including budget and business planning zero based budgeting and revenue management, will report dotted-line results to CFO Basilio.

Separate Canada Zone
Given the size of the combined business, Canada will now become a stand-alone zone reporting directly to CEO Hees. The President of Canada will be announced in August.

Chris Kempczinski will remain with the company until September to assist in the Kraft Canadian and overseas business transition. He will help with the integration in Canada, and support the rollout of Kraft brands outside North America.

Also staying with the company for a transition period are: Diane Johnson May, executive vice president of human resources at Kraft (who will leave in December after 35 years on the job); and Tom Corley, executive vice president of US sales at Kraft, who will work until November.

Kraft Heinz also announced the departures of the following Kraft executives: James Kehoe, executive vice president and cfo; Kim K. Rucker, executive vice president for corporate and legal affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary; Robert Gorski, executive vice president for integrated supply chain operations; Jane Hilk, chief marketing officer and president of the beverages and snack nuts division; Dave Ciesinski, president of meal solutions; Fred Paglia, president of foodservice and US growth channels; and Chuck Davis, executive vice president of research, development, quality and innovation.