USA — American multinational food company Kraft Heinz Co. has announced its intent to elevate its chief executive officer Miguel Patricio to chairman following the retirement of Alexandre Behring.  

The company noted that Patricio’s appointment is subject to his reelection at the company’s 2022 annual meeting of stockholders.  

Mr. Patricio has been chief executive officer of Kraft Heinz since July 2019 when he joined the company from Belgium-based brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev). 

Prior to AB InBev, Mr. Patricio was CMO for Cervejaria Ambev and vice president of marketing for Philip Morris International.  

Earlier in his career, he was global marketing director for The Coca-Cola Co. and global marketing director for Johnson & Johnson. 

Retiring Chairman Mr. Behring said: “We are very pleased with the progress experienced by the company in advancing its strategic plan during the past few years under Miguel’s leadership. 

He further noted that Miguel’s elevation to chair is a natural progression, “providing a continuation of strong and consistent stewardship to guide the company well into the future.”  

In addition to Mr. Patricio’s elevation to chair, Kraft Heinz announced the nomination of James Park to the board.  

Mr. Park is a technology entrepreneur who co-founded Fitbit, Inc., a fitness technology company that was acquired by Google in January 2021.  

Plant-based joint venture with Not Co 

Meanwhile, the Chicago-based firm is teaming up with TheNotCompany Inc., for a joint venture focused on plant-based innovation. 

Led by founder and chief executive officer Matias Muchnick, TheNotCompany Inc., has developed a technology platform that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to reverse engineer animal products and recreate them with plants.  

It has launched products including NotMilk, NotBurger, NotMeat, NotIceCream, NotChicken and NotMayo in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Colombia. 

Operating as The Kraft Heinz Not Co. LLC., the JV will combine NotCo’s patented technology and artificial intelligence solutions with Kraft Heinz’s portfolio and scale to develop plant-based versions of co-branded products. 

“The joint venture with TheNotCompany is a critical step in the transformation of our product portfolio and a tremendous addition to our brand design-to-value capabilities,” said Miguel.  

“It helps deliver on our vision to offer more clean, green, and delicious products for consumers. We believe the technology that NotCo brings is revolutionizing the creation of delicious plant-based foods with simpler ingredients.” 

Lucho Lopez-May, who currently is CEO of NotCo’s North American business, will become CEO of the new joint venture.

Mr. Lopez-May previously was CEO of Garland Food and president of strategic growth channels at Danone North America. 

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