Burger King boss Bernardo Hees to take the helm at Heinz

By Elaine WATSON

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hamburger, Berkshire hathaway

Bill Johnson has been CEO of Heinz for 15 years. Heinz's new owners, investment firms 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway, “expect to discuss Mr Johnson's interest in a continuing role with the company" after their $28bn deal to buy Heinz closes this summer
Bill Johnson has been CEO of Heinz for 15 years. Heinz's new owners, investment firms 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway, “expect to discuss Mr Johnson's interest in a continuing role with the company" after their $28bn deal to buy Heinz closes this summer
Heinz’s (soon to be) new owners 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway today revealed that Burger King boss Bernardo Hees will become CEO of Heinz once their 28bn deal (including debt) to buy the soups to ketchup giant is completed.

At this point - likely to be in late June or July - the investment firms will “expect to discuss with Mr. Johnson​ [Heinz’s current CEO, chairman, and president Bill Johnson - pictured] his interest in a continuing role with the company”​, said Heinz in a statement.  

3G: ‘Bernardo is a proven executive with an unparalleled track record of delivering results’

Hees, who became CEO at Burger King in September 2010, began an aggressive cost-cutting program shortly after 3G bought the chain, axing about half of the 600 jobs at its Miami HQ.

Alex Behring, Managing Partner at 3G Capital said, "Bernardo is a proven executive with an unparalleled track record of delivering results."

Long-term value creation?

Speaking at a press conference​ after announcing the Heinz acquisition earlier this year, Behring said it was too early to talk about cost cutting measures, jobs or synergies.

However, "in contrast"​ to other companies 3G had acquired, Heinz was doing "extremely well", ​and 3G is interested in "long-term value creation", ​he stressed.

In addition to its iconic ketchup, Heinz makes Classico spaghetti sauces, Ore-Ida potatoes and Smart Ones frozen meals.

Founded by Henry J Heinz in 1869, it now employs 32,000 people, and generated sales of $11.6bn in 2012, with Europe its biggest market ($3.4bn) followed by the US ($3.2bn). 

Related topics: Manufacturers

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