Elsner, who has worked at Kraft since the early 1990s, most recently served as president of its beverage business, where she was responsible for the manufacturing, marketing and sales of Maxwell House, Kool-Aid, Capri Sun, Country Time, Crystal Light, Gevalia and Tassimo.
Prior to joining Kraft, Elsner worked in sales for Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson.
"Kraft is focusing its resources and energies on leveraging our great brands, people and innovation to drive growth," said Vernon.
"Establishing the CMO position will enable us to harness the power of these tremendous assets. Deanie is uniquely qualified to pioneer this role given her success in building some of the world's most iconic brands throughout her 20-year career at Kraft."
Elsner - who starts her new job on Tuesday, February 5 - is being replaced by Dino Bianco, who will serve as executive vice president, and president of Beverages and Canada.