USA: Former AB InBev manager to lead Kraft Heinz

ABInBev’s chief marketing officer Miguel Patricio has been appointed as CEO of The Kraft Heinz Company effective July 1, 2019. The 53-year old manager will succeed Bernardo Hees, who is partner in private equity 3G Capital and joined H.J Heinz six years ago as CEO, when 3G Capitaland Berkshire Hathaway acquired the company in 2013. Hees was successful in merging Heinz with Kraft Foods two years later and is recognized for his expertise in cost-cutting and deal integration.

Together with Hees, Eduardo Luz, Kraft Heinz’s U.S. chief marketing and global brand officer, and Eduardo Pelleissone, Kraft Heinz’s head of strategic projects are leaving the company. All three managers hold undergraduate degrees from Brazilian universities and joined H.J Heinz in 2013.

Similar to 3G Capital’s other major shareholding in AB InBev, the business of Kraft Heinz is currently floundering and needs a new strategic orientation. The share price of Kraft Heinz went down by nearly one forth through the year after struggles with the company’s Oscar Mayer and Kraft cheese brands contributed to a USD15 billion write-down and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced an investigation into Kraft Heinz’ accounting and procurement practice.

Patricio, acknowledged expert with more than 30 years marketing experience in packaged goods, seems to be the right person to lead the marketing driven consumer business of Kraft Heinz in the futurefollowing its strategic realignment. Before joining AB InBev he held various marketing positions including eight years as global marketing director at Johnson & Johnson, two years as global marketing director at Coca Cola, two years as vice president marketing at Philip Morris International and five years as chief marketing officer at Cervejaria Ambev, one of the precursors of AB InBev.

As the creative force behind AB InBev’s global marketing organization, the Portuguese citizen with a Degree in Business Administration from Fundação Getulio Vargas in São Paulo, has built purpose-driven brands that now includes eight of the top 10 most valuable beer brands according to the 2018 BrandZlist. These beer brands include Budweiser, Bud Light, Stella Artois, Corona, Skol, Brahma, Aguila and Modelo.

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