John Cahill to lead Kraft Foods

by Keith Nunes
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John Cahill

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — John Cahill has been named CEO of the Kraft Foods Group, replacing Tony Vernon, who is retiring at the end of the year. Cahill is currently chairman of the board of Kraft Foods.

The company said Vernon will stay on as a senior adviser through March 31, 2015, and as a director until the company’s next annual meeting in 2015.

“I’m honored to be appointed CEO, and I’m excited to lead Kraft through the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead,” Cahill said. “Since the launch of Kraft, I have worked closely with the senior leaders of the company and its world-class brand portfolio. The industry is undergoing a great deal of rapid change, and it is important that we keep pace and indeed stay ahead of these changes as we build a stronger Kraft.

“While our immediate priority will be to remain focused on delivering results, we will also take a fresh look at the business to prioritize our investments and focus on sustainable profit growth. I look forward to working with our talented team at Kraft on these efforts as we build upon the accomplishments over the last two years. We will have more to say about that in early 2015.”

Vernon has served as CEO since the company’s spin-off from Mondelēz International in October 2012. Prior to that, he was the company's executive vice-president and president of Kraft Foods North America.

“It has been a privilege to lead Kraft and establish it as an independent company,” Vernon said. “It has been rewarding to see the team’s many ideas bear fruit in the marketplace as together we launched an $18 billion start-up with the soul of a powerhouse. As I’ve said before, the hallmark of every great company is that it makes the right adjustments at the right time. I’ve worked in close partnership with John Cahill, an outstanding executive in the consumer industry, and have no doubt that the Kraft team will benefit from his strong leadership in the months and years to come.”

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