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Mondelēz and Bazooka Candy announce North America leadership changes

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Douglas Yu

By Douglas Yu+

Last updated on 19-Apr-2017 at 11:42 GMT2017-04-19T11:42:54Z

The WSJ recently broke the news that Mondelēz has partnered with a Chicago-based headhunter to look for a new CEO to replace Irene Rosenfeld.  Photo: ©iStock/Jirsak
The WSJ recently broke the news that Mondelēz has partnered with a Chicago-based headhunter to look for a new CEO to replace Irene Rosenfeld. Photo: ©iStock/Jirsak

Mondelēz and the Topps’ confectionery division Bazooka Candy Brands have announced new leaders for their North American businesses.

Mondelēz said in a release chief growth officer Tim Cofer will serve as interim president of the North American business, as the current head Roberto Marques departs.

The company’s spokesperson did not have any information about where Marques may be headed next.

The Oreo maker is currently looking to recruit a permanent successor to lead the region.

Experience in both developed and emerging markets

Mondelēz added Cofer has previously led its regions in Europe, Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and he also played a leadership role in two Kraft North American businesses, Oscar Mayer and Kraft Pizza Company.

“Tim Cofer is our most experienced commercial leader with deep region leadership experience across both developed and emerging markets. We have considerable competitive advantages in North America, including our strong margin profile, iconic brands, solid innovation pipeline and strong Direct-Store-Delivery muscle," Rosenfeld said in a statement.

Marques will work with Cofer over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition, Mondelēz said.

Union’s expectation on new leadership

The  leadership change was announced amid reports Mondelēz has partnered with a Chicago-based headhunter to look for a new CEO to replace Irene Rosenfeld .

The president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), David Durkee, said: “A leadership transition would offer a valuable opportunity for Mondelēz to jettison its adversarial positions and return to a constructive, positive collective bargaining relationship with the union.”

The union organization filed a lawsuit against the snack giant last year for laying off hundreds of workers at Mondelēz's Oreo manufacturing plant in Chicago after the company shifted its production line to Mexico.

“It is our sincere hope that potential new leadership of Mondelēz would view this transition as an opportunity to do what is in the best interest of its employees, shareholders, customers and the communities in which it operates,” Durkee added.

Driving further growth for Bazooka Candy

In other appointment news, The Topps Company has named Tony Jacobs as head of its global confectionery brands division, and he will continue to lead a worldwide team of over 200 team members in driving all aspects of the business, including marketing, product development sales, operations and finance.

Bazooka Candy officially launched juicy drop gum last month that allows consumers to boost and extend the flavor of their gum through a built-in gel flavor booster. The product is available at checkout at US retailers, including Walmart, Kroger and 7-Eleven. 

Jacobs previously worked as the brand’s general manager, according to his LinkedIn account, and also serves as the chairman of the National Confectioners Association’s Political Action Committee.

Commenting on his new position, Jacobs said he hopes to further drive growth and continue the success the Bazooka brand has had over the past several years.

“Jacobs has been instrumental in fueling the expansion of this portfolio which has been growing at over 10% for the last two years in the US, and is seeing rapid growth in international markets, including Brazil, Spain, South Korea, and the Middle East,” the company said in a release.

Bazooka’s regular gum category posted total dollar sales of nearly $6m, a 13.43% decline compared to last year, according to IRI data that includes total US multi-outlets with c-stores for the latest 52 weeks ending Oct 2, 2016.

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