Kraft European shake-up triggers new exit

Kraft Foods International is thought to be considering stripping control of European marketing from the Zurich head office of Kraft Jacobs Suchard and centralising it into its US head office, near New York.

Marketing staff in Zurich are awaiting news of the international restructure being carried out by John Bowlin, president of Kraft Foods International.

A number of KJS’s most senior marketing staff are leaving the Zurich head office in advance of the shake-up.

This week, confectionery marketing director Gerry Reid has admitted he is leaving. Last week, Marketing Week revealed that vice-president of marketing for Kraft Food International Albert Freese, the most senior marketer in the Zurich office, is leaving, along with director of coffee marketing Walter Struwe.

Kraft parent company Philip Morris is understood to be unhappy with sales in Europe, and one observer says the company wants the successful US tobacco division to take control of the international food business.

Kraft head office in New York denies the move, but sources within KJS’s European arm believe it is one of a range of options.

KJS’s public affairs director Rolf Fauerbier says: “It is an option to get synergies by combining North America and the rest of the world.”

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