US –  American multinational food and beverage company Kraft Heinz has unveiled its CEO succession plan where its President for North America Carlos Abrams-Rivera will take over from Miguel Patricio starting next year.

Patricio joined Kraft Heinz in July 2019 as the company bet on a marketing veteran to help reverse years of muted sales and market share losses to brand-name competitors and private-label players.

Abrams-Rivera will take on the added responsibility as president of Kraft Heinz, effective immediately, while Patricio will remain non-executive chair of the board, the company said.

Abrams-Rivera joined Kraft Heinz in early 2020 and is credited with steering the company’s North American business through the pandemic, having previously held key roles at Campbell Soup and Mondelez International.

“The transition from Miguel to Carlos reflects the Board’s thoughtful succession planning and we are confident that the Company will continue to accelerate growth with Carlos assuming the role of CEO,” Jack Pope, the company’s Lead Director of the Board.

“He is an experienced leader with a long tenure in the food and beverage industry who has shown consistency and excellence in execution.”

He credited Carlos leadership in transforming North America with innovative partnerships and tech-enabled solutions attracting world-class talent to serve the Company well into the future.

According to his profile, Carlos Abrams-Rivera joined Campbell’s company in 2015 where he served as the president of the company’s snacks division.

Previously he was the Latin America president of gum and candy at Cadbury owner Mondelez, a business he first joined in 2011 as a marketing and strategy senior vice-president.

Abrams-Rivera also worked at the Kraft Food Group before it merged with the H.J. Heinz Company in 2015.

He holds an MBA in Marketing and strategy and started his career as a senior brand manager at the company.

The outgoing CEO Miguel praised Abrams-Rivera’s strategic and innovative mindset noting that it will set him up well for the role which will include guiding Kraft Heinz through the next stage of its transformation.

He added that the transformation seeks to put the company at the forefront of the future of food and drive growth by renovating its brands such as the Henz brand Ketchup and move it to become a food icon.

Patricio who stepped into the role in 2019, is credited with leading a turnaround for the business through his deep understanding of marketing and consumers.

“We are extremely grateful for Miguel’s leadership over the past four years. He has a deep understanding of marketing and consumers, which was instrumental to the Company’s turnaround,” Jack added.

In the company’s recent results, Patricio expressed his pride for his company’s brands and their resilience through inflation.

He said the company was taking a consistent approach to price which was allowing it to step up investment behind those brands.

Abrams-Rivera takes the helm when demand is easing for Kraft Heinz’s packaged meals and condiments as higher prices force consumers to shun branded products and turn to cheaper alternative.

He will be tasked with boosting volumes and winning back market share, a process that may require some mergers and acquisitions, according to CFRA Research analyst Arun Sundaram. 

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