Kraft Heinz brings back former CFO as company seeks turnaround strategy

USA – The packaged consumer foods company, Kraft Heinz has announced the appointment of former executive Paulo Basilio to the role of chief financial officer, effective 1 September.

The newly appointed chief execituve officer, Miguel Patricio said Basilio will be replacing David Knopf in what he said was a strategic decision, after the company was forced to restate three years of results.

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Basilio had been Heinz’s CFO when it merged with Kraft in 2015 and remained in the role in the unified company until October 2017.

Basilio left Kraft Heinz’s when the company’s second largest shareholder 3G Capital persuaded the board to embark on changes centering around heavy cost-cutting. Current CFO David Knopf will return to his role as a partner at 3G Capita.

Basilio has served as president of the U.S. commercial business since 2017 and last month was named chief business planning and development officer.

Kraft Heinz also announced the creation of a new position of chief growth officer that “will be responsible for improving the Company’s organic growth and developing capabilities.”

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Nina Barton, who currently serves as president of the Canada Zone and of Digital Growth, will assume that role. Bruno Keller, head of category development in Canada, will succeed Barton as the zone president of Canada.

Kraft Heinz has been battered by competition from private-label brands, changing consumer tastes and lower investment in its brands.

The packaged goods company has this year written down US$15.4 billion in the value of two marquee brands, slashed dividends and withdrawn its financial outlook.

In the six months to the end of June, the firm posted net sales of US$12.4 billion, down 4.8% compared to the year-ago period while its operating income was US$1.27 billion.

In May, the company said it will have to restate its financial statement for 2016 and 2017 after it received a subpoena from the US Securities and Exchange Commission about its accounting and procurement policies.

Mr Patricio said that the company was a priority to reduce the company’s debt burden, which stood at US$29.8 billion at the end of June compared with a market capitalisation of about US$33.6 billion.

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