NORTHFIELD, Ill. – Kraft Foods Group Inc. appointed George Zoghbi to the newly created executive post of vice chairman, operations, R&D, sales and strategy.

The company said the new position combines several key areas under one leader. Zoghbi will oversee functions ranging from R&D, manufacturing and sales teams. With Zoghbi's promotion, Howard Friedman was named executive vice president and president, Cheese & Dairy.

“Kraft’s future growth will be driven by a disciplined approach to new product innovation, brand renovation and expansion across sales channels, which are all fueled by effective total cost management,” said Tony Vernon, CEO. “As vice chairman, George Zoghbi will help advance our growth plans by taking a strategic, holistic view of our portfolio and how we take our products from concept to store shelves.”

Zoghbi joined Kraft's former parent company, now known as Mondelez International, in 2007. He was vice president and area director of Australia and New Zealand. Before joining Kraft, he worked at Fonterra, the world's largest dairy exporter.

Zoghbi is credited with a turn-around at Kraft's Cheese & Dairy business, which he has led since 2009. Kraft said the Cheese & Dairy business was the first to implement the company's Integrated Business Planning initiative which aims to strengthen sales forecasting and supply chain planning.