NORTHFIELD, Ill., June 3, 2014 -- Kraft Foods Group, Inc. KRFT +1.10% today announced the appointment of George Zoghbi to the newly created executive position of Vice Chairman, Operations, R&D, Sales and Strategy, reporting directly to CEO Tony Vernon. The creation of this new role brings together the expertise of several key areas under one leader, including research & development, which creates innovative new products and manages quality improvements, to the manufacturing and sales teams that make and ultimately deliver Kraft's products to customers.
"Kraft's future growth will be driven by a disciplined approach to new product innovation, brand renovation and expansion across sales channels, which are all fueled by effective total cost management," said Vernon. "As Vice Chairman, George Zoghbi will help advance our growth plans by taking a strategic, holistic view of our portfolio and how we take our products from concept to store shelves."
Zoghbi has served as leader of Kraft's Cheese & Dairy business since 2009. A skilled general manager and developer of people, he led the business in a turnaround that has delivered outstanding top-line and bottom-line growth. Under his leadership, the Cheese & Dairy unit was the first to implement the company's Integrated Business Planning initiative that aims to strengthen sales forecasting and supply chain planning, which is now being rolled out companywide.
Zoghbi joined Kraft's former parent company, now known as Mondelez International, in 2007 as Vice President and Area Director of Australia and New Zealand where he oversaw all aspects of the regional business. Prior to joining Kraft, Zoghbi held a variety of leadership roles at Fonterra, the world's largest dairy exporter. While there, his accomplishments included driving for operational excellence, integrating several acquired businesses and delivering growth through new channels.
Howard Friedman Appointed Executive Vice President and President, Cheese & Dairy With Zoghbi's transition to Vice Chairman, the company announced the appointment of Howard Friedman to Executive Vice President and President, Cheese & Dairy, reporting to CEO Vernon. Most recently, he was President of Sales responsible for Kraft's largest retail customer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. In addition, Friedman is a 16-year Kraft veteran and has held positions of increasing leadership responsibility in Marketing, where he managed such iconic brands as Philadelphia, Kraft Singles, Jell-O and Kool-Aid. He served as Senior Vice President of Marketing for Cheese & Dairy before moving into his current Sales role.
"I'm delighted we're able to continue to build our bench strength by offering new growth and development opportunities to two of our talented and accomplished leaders," said Vernon. "Our goal is to be the best recruiter, trainer and developer in our industry and that's true at every level of our organization."
ABOUT KRAFT FOODS GROUP Kraft Foods Group, Inc. KRFT +1.10% is one of North America's largest consumer packaged food and beverage companies, with annual revenues of more than $18 billion. With the spirit of a startup and the soul of a powerhouse, Kraft has an unrivaled portfolio of products in the beverages, cheese, refrigerated meals and grocery categories. The company's iconic brands include Kraft, Capri Sun, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters and Velveeta. Kraft's 22,500 employees in the U.S. and Canada have a passion for making the foods and beverages people love. Kraft is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 and the NASDAQ-100 indices. For more information, visitwww.kraftfoodsgroup.com and www.facebook.com/kraft .
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS This press release contains forward-looking statements. Words such as "will," "drive," "take," "aim" and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding Kraft's growth, total cost management and integrated business planning. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Kraft's control. Important factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, increased competition; Kraft's ability to maintain, extend and expand its reputation and brand image; Kraft's ability to differentiate its products from other brands; increasing consolidation of retail customers; changes in relationships with significant customers and suppliers; Kraft's ability to predict, identify and interpret changes in consumer preferences and demand; Kraft's ability to drive revenue growth in its key product categories, increase its market share, or add products; volatility in commodity, energy and other input costs; product recalls or product liability claims; unanticipated business disruptions; and other factors. For additional information on these and other factors that could affect Kraft's forward-looking statements, see Kraft's risk factors, as they may be amended from time to time, set forth in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K. Kraft disclaims and does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement in this press release, except as required by applicable law or regulation.