Kraft strategy bust-up sparks double exit

Kraft Jacobs Suchard’s international marketing department has been hit by the resignation of two of its most senior people.

Kraft Foods International senior vice-president of marketing Albert Freese and director of coffee marketing Walter Struwe have both quit.

Freese has worked at Kraft for nearly 20 years and his division leads brand development across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Kraft Foods spends about $600m (360m) a year on advertising, with Kraft Jacobs accounting for $500m (300m) of this. Last year Kraft Foods had a turnover of $11.5bn (6.9bn) and Kraft Jacobs a turnover of $9.5bn (5.7bn).

The sudden departures are believed to be the result of a dispute between Kraft Foods and Kraft in the US over sales growth. A source close to the business says: “They were not getting anywhere in terms of innovation. Top-line sales growth from European food is down and the US is getting frustrated.”

It is understood Freese’s team has been working on turning Kraft Foods International’s main chocolate brands, Dime, Toblerone and Milka, into international brands.

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