Former J&J Leader Brings Exceptional CPG, Marketing and Innovation
Experience to Role
Rick Searer to Retire in September after Nearly 30 Years of Outstanding
NORTHFIELD, Ill., June 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE:
KFT) announced today that W. Anthony (Tony) Vernon will become President,
Kraft Foods North America, in mid-August. Vernon, 53, joins Kraft Foods from
private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings, following a successful career at
Johnson & Johnson. He will report to Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld and
become a member of the Kraft Foods Executive Team.
"Tony has an impressive history of building and sustaining iconic consumer
brands. His strong track record of growth through consumer-driven innovation,
world-class marketing and strong retail relationships will help to further
accelerate our business performance," said Rosenfeld.
Vernon replaces Rick Searer, who will retire at the end of September.
Rosenfeld continued: "For nearly 30 years, Rick has been an exceptional
member of our team. At every step on the corporate ladder, he achieved
impressive business results. But more than that, Rick has a truly rare
combination of intellect and humanity, insight and inspiration, drive and
compassion. These are hallmarks of a great leader. We'll miss him."
Vernon is a 26-year veteran of the healthcare industry, principally in
consumer businesses at Johnson & Johnson, and over the last three years as
healthcare industry partner of Ripplewood Holdings. At J&J, Vernon ran
multibillion-dollar independent business units and led many of that company's
largest consumer brands, including Tylenol, Motrin, Pepcid AC, Imodium and
Splenda. His accomplishments include leading the strategic evaluation,
licensing and launch of Concerta and turning Remicade into a market leader in
biologics; both of these prescription drugs are now billion dollar franchises
Vernon earned a bachelor's degree in history from Lawrence University and
an MBA from the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Kraft Foods (www.kraftfoodscompany.com) makes today delicious in 150
countries around the globe. Our 100,000 employees work tirelessly to make
delicious foods consumers can feel good about. From American brand icons like
Kraft cheeses, dinners and dressings, Maxwell House coffees and Oscar Mayer
meats, to global powerhouse brands like Oreo and LU biscuits, Philadelphia
cream cheeses, Jacobs and Carte Noire coffees, Tang powdered beverages and
Milka, Cote d'Or, Lacta and Toblerone chocolates, our brands deliver millions
of smiles every day. Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT) is the world's second largest
food company with annual revenues of $42 billion. The company is a member of
the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor's 500, the Dow Jones
Sustainability Index and the Ethibel Sustainability Index.
Forward Looking Statements Safe-Harbor
This press release contains the forward-looking statement that Vernon's
strong track record of growth through consumer-driven innovation, world-class
marketing and strong retail relationships will help to further accelerate our
business performance. This forward-looking statement involves risks and
uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from what
is predicted in the forward-looking statements. Such factors, include, but
are not limited to, continued volatility in input costs, pricing actions,
increased competition, increased costs of sales, a shift in our product mix to
lower margin offerings and competition from lower-priced private label
products. For additional information on these and other factors that could
affect our forward-looking statements, see our filings with the SEC, including
our most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent reports on
Forms 10-Q and 8-K. We disclaim and do not undertake any obligation to update
or revise any forward-looking statement in this press release.
SOURCE Kraft Foods
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