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Kraft Heinz announces updates to US leadership team

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Kraft Heinz announces updates to US leadership team

Related tags: Kraft heinz

Kraft Heinz has named Cory Onell as president of US sales; Sanjiv Gajiwala as US chief growth officer; and Stephanie Peterson as head of US communications as it gears up to unveil its strategic plan in September.

Onell – who has held senior roles at several leading CPG firms including Campbell Soup, Kimberly-Clark, and Mondelēz - was most recently SVP sales at JM Smucker. Gajiwala joins the company from Mike's Hard Lemonade Co., where he served as SVP of marketing; while Peterson, who joined in May, previously held senior-level communications roles at PepsiCo, KIND Snacks, and IHOP.

All three will report to Carlos Abrams-Rivera, president of the US business at Kraft Heinz, which posted a better-than-expected 3.8% rise in net sales in the second quarter​, but a significant net loss ($-1.65bn) owing to impairment charges.

During the Q2 earnings call on July 30, Abrams-Rivera noted that iconic brands from Heinz ketchup to Kraft Mac & Cheese had been gaining ground with “higher income, younger, and more diverse parts of the population where we have historically under indexed… smaller households, including those with no kids, are finding our brands.

"All this means we have a tremendous opportunity to build our base of loyal consumers, and we're going after this aggressively with a second half plan that includes a 40% increase in working media dollars versus a year ago.”

Kraft Heinz to unveil strategic plan in September

The focus for Kraft Heinz now is “learning about who these new consumers are and that is our obsession at the moment, to keep them with us,” ​said CEO Miguel Patricio, who said bosses would update the market on the company’s long-anticipated strategic plan in September.

A better-than-expected quarter notwithstanding, Kraft Heinz is “still not where we want to be on several fronts,” ​conceded Patricio.

“We are making significant changes to how we work, how we are organizing our business, how we are developing our capabilities, and how we are reinvesting in the business."

creative roots

Net sales at Kraft Heinz rose 3.8% to $6.6bn in the second quarter versus the year-ago period, driven by a strong performance in the US market (+8.5% to $4.9bn), which accounts for three quarters of its sales.

International sales edged down slightly (-0.7%) to $1.3bn, while sales in Canada fell -23.9% to $426m reflecting the sale of its Canadian natural cheese business and currency impacts.

The company posted a net loss of $1.65bn (vs a profit of $449m in Q2, 2019).

Food for Kids 2020 logo

Kraft Heinz will be speaking about Creative Roots​ - its latest innovation in the kids' beverage space - at our virtual FOOD FOR KIDS summit​ later this year. 

Find out more HERE.

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