Kraft Foods Inc. said two European executives are leaving, the latest of former Cadbury Plc officials to depart since the food company’s $20 billion takeover of the U.K. confectioner this year.
Ignasi Ricou, who joined Cadbury in 2003, ran European sales and the gum and candy business, Michael Mitchell, a spokesman for Kraft, said in an e-mail. Tamara Minick-Scokalo, a Cadbury executive currently running Kraft’s European chocolate business, is the other executive departing. Both are leaving for personal reasons, Mitchell said.
“Given Cadbury were seen as having the stronger confectionery management team, the loss of another senior former Cadbury manager must increase concerns amongst Kraft shareholders,” Chris Bones, a former Cadbury human-resources executive, said in an e-mail regarding Ricou’s departure. Bones is now a professor at Manchester Business School in the U.K.
About 25 percent of Northfield, Illinois-based Kraft’s sales come from Europe, according to a recent investor presentation. Revenue, excluding divestitures and other items, rose 3.9 percent in the region in the second quarter, helped by sales of Jacobs coffee and Philadelphia cream cheese, the company said in August.
Kraft’s European chief, Mike Clarke, aims to improve profitability in Europe amid rising commodity prices and competition from Nestle SA and Unilever. While integrating Cadbury will take effort, the process is going well, he said in August.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to Ignasi for his tremendous commitment, passion and leadership,” Clarke said in an internal memo to employees obtained by Bloomberg. He credited Ricou with “driving great execution in our gum and candy business over many years, and more recently setting up our new European sales strategy and organization.”
Kraft rose 15 cents to $31.08 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have advanced 14 percent this year, compared with a 4.5 percent increase in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
Cadbury’s three top officers -- Chairman Roger Carr, Chief Executive Officer Todd Stitzer and Chief Financial Officer Andrew Bonfield -- said they would step down soon after Cadbury shareholders approved the takeover this year. Former Cadbury managers make up about one-third of the top 50 executives, Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld said in an August interview.
Mark Reckitt, who was Cadbury’s chief strategy officer and co-head of the integration team, left his post in July to take a part-time consulting role with one of the company’s brands. Phil Rumbol, Cadbury’s head of marketing for the U.K. and Ireland, also left that month.
Ricou’s role will be split between two executives, Mitchell said. The European sales team will now report to Trevor Bond, a former Cadbury executive, while Maurizio Brusadelli, a Kraft veteran, has been appointed president of gum and candy. Minick- Scokalo will be replaced by be Patrick Satamian, a Kraft executive currently based in Dubai, Mitchell said.
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