Kraft Heinz reinstates Basilio as CFO amid broader leadership shakeup, financial struggles

By Elizabeth Crawford contact

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Kraft Heinz
Source: Kraft Heinz
In the face of very weak profits in recent quarters, disappointing guidance for 2019 and a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into is procurement process, the once proud but now beleaguered Kraft Heinz continues to shake up its top leadership with the return of Paulo Basilio as the chief financial officer beginning Sept. 1.

Basilio’s reinstatement comes at the behest of the company’s new Chief Executive Officer Miguel Patricio, who replaced Bernardo Hees earlier this summer.

According to an Aug. 26 SEC filing, the former Anheuser-Busch InBev executive “made the strategic decision to shift a seasoned veteran, Paulo Basilio (44), back into the critical role of global chief financial officer.”

Basilio, who served as the CFO at H.J. Heinz before the company merged with Kraft Foods, will replace David Knopf who took the position from Basilio in 2017 as a 29-year-old whose previous experience included working at Kraft Heinz for two years overseeing the Planters Nuts brand, heading the global budget and business planning and as a vice president overseeing zero-based budgeting and financial strategic planning. At the time of his appointment, Knopf also was a partner with 3G Capital, the private equity firm behind the merger of Heinz with Kraft.

After a transition period with Basilio, Knopf will return to 3G Capital, according to Kraft Heinz.

Under Knopf’s tenure as CFO, Kraft Heinz’s shares and employee moral plummeted. In the past year, Kraft Heinz’s shares fell 57%, it announced a 36% dividend cut and a $15.4bn write-down of goodwill on two of its biggest brands – Kraft and Oscar Mayer.

In addition, the company announced an SEC investigation into its procurement process that uncovered employee misconduct, which delayed the filling of Kraft Heinz’s full year 2018 results and will prompt a need to restate its financial statements for 2016 and 2017.

During this period, Basilio continued to work at Kraft Heinz as the president of the US commercial business and since July 2019, when Patricio took the helm as CEO, served as the company’s chief business planning and development officer.

Basilio’s return to his former position as CFO is among several key changes to Kraft Heinz’ leadership team as part of a larger effort to “rebuild the company’s business momentum with a focus on driving long-term profitable growth”​ and chart “a new path forward,”​ according to a company spokesman.

The other leadership changes include the appointment of Nina Barton to the newly created position of chief growth officer, “where she will be responsible for improving the company’s organic growth and developing capabilities,”​ according to Kraft Heinz’s Aug. 26 SEC filing. Previously, Barton served as the president of the Canada zone and President of digital growth. She will assume her new position Sept. 1.

Bruno Keller, who currently serves as the head of category development in Canada will replace Barton as the zone president of Canada, according to the company.

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