Kraft Heinz gets a new boss. Can he save the firm?

WHILE WORKING at Coca-Cola, Philip Morris and Johnson & Johnson in the 1990s, Miguel Patricio gained a reputation as a marketing wizard. Shareholders of Kraft Heinz, who appointed him as the food maker’s chief executive on April 22nd, are hoping his magic touch extends to corporate turnarounds. Born of a merger in 2015 between two American icons, Kraft Heinz has struggled to keep up with changes in consumer taste. In February it announced a $15bn impairment, cut its dividend by a third and said that American authorities had launched an inquiry into its procurement practices. Its share price has fallen by 45% in 12 months.

The new boss replaces Bernardo Hees, a Brazilian who had led Kraft Heinz since the merger. In his previous job as chief marketer at Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s biggest brewer, Mr Patricio was credited with increasing the sales of Corona, Budweiser and Stella Artois. The three brands now account for more than one-fifth of AB InBev’s sales. His idea of replacing the Budweiser name with “America” on limited-edition bottles and cans was a hit.

He is also familiar with Kraft Heinz’s management culture. AB InBev’s biggest shareholder is 3G Capital, the same private-equity firm led by a trio of Brazilians that backs Kraft Heinz. 3G made its name with its quasi-religious devotion to “zero-based...

via Business Feeds

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