Marc S. Firestone to Step Down in April; Gerhard W. Pleuhs to Become General Counsel
NORTHFIELD, Ill., Feb. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kraft Foods (NYSE:KFT) announced today that Marc S. Firestone, 52, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Legal Affairs, and General Counsel, will leave the company in April to rejoin Philip Morris International in Lausanne, Switzerland. Firestone previously worked at PMI before coming to Kraft Foods in 2003. Gerhard "Gerd" W. Pleuhs, 55, will succeed Firestone as Executive Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel. Pleuhs currently serves as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Kraft Foods.
"We sincerely thank Marc for his many contributions," said Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld. "He provided critical leadership during some of our key transformational initiatives, including when we became a fully independent company from Altria, our acquisitions of LU and Cadbury, divestitures of numerous businesses, and significant litigation to protect and enhance our business. His wise counsel will be missed, but we respect his desire to return to a company and city that he knows well."
Pleuhs Assumes General Counsel Duties
"While we're sorry to see Marc go, I'm very pleased that we have a terrific successor within Kraft Foods to lead our global legal team," Rosenfeld said. "Gerd has more than 25 years of corporate law experience. I'm confident that his intimate knowledge of our company will enable him to seamlessly step into the General Counsel role."
Pleuhs joined the legal team at Jacobs Kaffee Deutschland in 1985, and has assumed various legal positions of increasing responsibility throughout his career. In 1993, he was named Chief Counsel for Kraft Jacobs Suchard Germany, responsible for the legal and regulatory affairs for Kraft's business in Germany. In 2000, he became Vice President and Chief Counsel for Kraft's Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region, based in Vienna. Three years later, he moved to the United States to become Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Kraft Foods International. He assumed his current role in 2007.
Pleuhs will continue to lead the legal function for the global snacks company when it launches later this year. Firestone had been slated to lead the legal function for the North American grocery company upon separation. With his departure, the company will initiate an internal and external search for candidates to fill that role.
About Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT) is a global snacks powerhouse with an unrivaled portfolio of brands people love. Proudly marketing delicious biscuits, confectionery, beverages, cheese, grocery products and convenient meals in approximately 170 countries, Kraft Foods had 2011 revenue of $54.4 billion. Twelve of the company's iconic brands – Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Tang and Trident – generate revenue of more than $1 billion annually. On Aug. 4, 2011, Kraft Foods announced plans to divide and create two independent public companies: a high-growth global snacks business and a high-margin North American grocery business. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of 2012. A leader in innovation, marketing, health & wellness and sustainability, Kraft Foods is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor's 500, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index. Visit http://www.kraftfoodscompany.com/ and www.facebook.com/kraftfoodscorporate.
This press release contains a number of forward-looking statements, which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated in these statements. Please see our filings with the SEC for more information regarding these risks and uncertainties.
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SOURCE Kraft Foods Inc.
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