Kraft Heinz Co-CEO and CFO Paulo Basilio will leave the company in March. He joined Kraft Heinz after serving as an executive at Campbell Soup Company for 17 years.
Kraft Heinz has announced that their CFO Paulo Basilio will be leaving in March. David Knopf is the new person who will take over.
Paulo Basilio, the former finance head of consumer products behemoth Kraft Heinz Co., who trimmed the company’s portfolio and reduced debt, also groomed his own successor.
Mr. Basilio will leave down as part of a planned transition, beginning March 1, according to Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Kraft Mac & Cheese producer Heinz. Andre Maciel, who oversees the company’s nearly $19 billion U.S. business and heads up its digital transformation section, will follow him.
Mr. Basilio managed the financial function of the amalgamated firms from 2015 to 2017, after serving as finance chief of H.J. Heinz Co. from 2013 to 2015. After the business missed many estimates, wrote down the value of several of its brands, and reduced its dividend, he returned to his prior post in 2019.
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Mr. Basilio promoted a number of financial experts over his time with the firm, including Mr. Maciel, who joined in 2013 and has held a number of roles in Kraft Heinz’s finance department.
In a press release, Chief Executive Officer Miguel Patricio remarked, “One of Paulo’s major successes was in nurturing significant talent inside the finance team, including Andre Maciel, the guy I picked to be his successor.”
Building a deep bench of internal candidates is an important task for finance professionals. Promotions from inside organizations have increased recently, with 61.5% of CFOs at companies in the S&P 500 and Fortune 500 recruited internally in 2021, up from 56.9% in 2020, according to the Crist Kolder Volatility Report tracking executive moves.
Mr. Basilio trimmed Kraft Heinz’s portfolio during his second term, selling off its nuts division, including the Planters brand, for $3.35 billion in 2021 and finding a new owner for several of the company’s cheese brands for $3.2 billion in 2020.
He led the company’s finances through a surge in consumer demand during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic and reduced its debt, which stood at $21.80 billion at the end of September, down from $27.81 billion at the end of 2019, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, a data provider. He also helped resolve an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission that accused the food maker of manipulating expenses during a time of aggressive cost cuts.
The shift in financial leadership comes as Kraft Heinz, like many other food firms, battles rising costs due to supply-chain issues and inflation for packaging and essential commodities such as dairy, meat, and coffee. To counteract some of the expense hikes, the corporation has raised prices across the board in recent months.
Mr. Maciel, the new CFO, has a lot of expertise controlling expenses and income. He previously headed the company’s zero-based budgeting initiative, which is a strategy that organizations use to reduce spending across the board by creating each year’s budget from the ground up.
According to Erin Lash, a director of consumer equity research at Morningstar Inc.’s research division, Mr. Maciel will likely assist Kraft Heinz in continuing its efforts to offset inflation and higher supply-chain costs, such as by raising prices or potentially reducing the amount of a certain product in a package without changing the price.
“Increasing prices to cover increasing material costs is clearly a road that the company can go down,” Ms. Lash said.
Mr. Maciel’s new remuneration will be $650,000 per year with a bonus of up to 175 percent of his basic income, according to a filing with securities authorities by Kraft Heinz. In March 2022, he will get a $2 million merit equity award, which will include 60 percent performance share units and 40 percent restricted stock units that would vest over time, among other benefits.
Beyond the press release, Kraft Heinz refused to comment.
—This essay was co-written by Maria Armental and Mark Maurer.
Nina Trentmann can be reached at [email protected]
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Kraft Heinz CFO Paulo Basilio will be departing the company in March. The departure comes as a result of Kraft Heinz’s merger with Unilever, which is set to close on February 1st. Reference: kraft heinz.
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