NORTHFIELD, Ill. – Timothy McLevish, 55, Kraft Foods’ executive vice president and chief financial officer, plans to leave the company mid-year to pursue opportunities in general management. He will shift his CFO responsibilities to David Brearton, 50, executive vice president, operations, after the company files its first quarter financial statements.

"We sincerely thank Tim for his many contributions to Kraft Foods," said Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and CEO. "From the beginning of his tenure as CFO and our spin-off from Altria, Tim has had a clear mandate to reshape the portfolio and our capital structure, which he accomplished with the highest quality results. We will miss Tim's perspective and commitment, but we respect his desire to take on new and different challenges. We wish him the very best."

McLevish said he thoroughly enjoyed working with members of the Kraft leadership team at such a pivotal time in the company's history. “But I feel that I've accomplished what I came here to do,” he added. “So, I'm ready to move to the next stage of my career, focusing on general management opportunities. The company is financially strong with a solid capital structure, improving cash flow, excellent growth prospects and a very strong finance organization. I'll spend the coming months helping to ensure a smooth transition."

Brearton has more than 25 years of experience in senior financial and broader cross-functional roles both domestically and internationally. “I'm confident that Dave's deep understanding of the consumer packaged goods industry and his intimate knowledge of Kraft Foods will enable him to step into the CFO role seamlessly and continue our drive toward top-tier financial performance," Rosenfeld said.

Brearton began his Kraft career in 1984 in his native Canada. He progressed through a series of senior finance roles, including as senior vice president, finance, Kraft Foods International, and as corporate controller. Since that time, he has led several functions, including: strategy; mergers and acquisitions; and most recently as the head of operations, overseeing the procurement, manufacturing and customer service and logistics functions.

Kraft has begun an external search to fill Brearton's current role as executive vice president, operations.