Kraft Heinz anounced that the the global food giant’s chief executive of is set to step down from his post in June.
Bernardo Hees has led the company for the past six years. He oversaw the acquisition of Heinz in 2013 and the subsequent merger of Kraft Heinz.
Miguel Patricio, the Portuguese former chief marketing officer of drinks firm Anheuser-Butsch InBev, will take the place of Hees. Patricio he helped drive significant growth for the Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Corona brands.
The chair of the board of Kraft Heinz thanked Hees for leading the firm “through its first phase.” He also said that the outgoing CEO had “achieved industry-leading margins and sales.”
Board Chair Alex Behring stated: “I would like to thank Bernardo personally, and on behalf of the Board, for his many contributions to Kraft Heinz over the last six years.”
The firm did not disclose further details regarding the reasons for the departure of Hees, however, it comes only a few months after the firm took a £11.8 billion ($15.4 billion) writedown on its Kraft, Oscar Mayer and other brands.
It has also cut its dividend, and admitted that the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States of America was conducting an investigation on its accounting methods.
The change of leadership is considered as the most significant in the short history of the new firm. According to Reuters, it could see a sihift of direction for the company following years of cost-cutting that have “left its brand in a weaker position to compete.”
Hees stated: “It has bee ofn an honour to serve as CEO of Kraft Heinz and to see it through its transformation over the last six years. I have confidence that Miguel and the team will take Kraft Heinz to new heights.”
A statement that was released by Kraft Heinz disclosed that its new CEO had “deep experience” growing businesses in both emerging and developed markets after serving as the former president of the North American and then Asia Pacific divisions of AB InBev.
The new CEO has also worked for the Coca-Cola Company, Johnson & Johnson, and Philip Morris in locations across the globe.
Behring stated: “Miguel is a proven business leader with a distinguished track record of building iconic consumer brands around the globe, driving top-line revenue growth through a focus on consumer-first marketing, innovation, and people development.”