Kellog shake-up triggers top exit

Kellogg Europe president Donald Fritz has resigned suddenly after 19 years with the company as the beleaguered cereal manufacturer undergoes a global reorganisation.

Fritz, also executive vice-president of the group organisation, the Kellogg Company, will be replaced by Jean-Louis Gourbin who was formerly president of Kellogg Asia-Pacific.

The cereal giant will also lose top marketer Jeffrey Merrihue, the market development manager for Europe, who is to take an international role at media agency Initiative.

Kellogg’s market share has slipped from 40 per cent in 1988 to 32 per cent in 1998 and in the UK sales have been hit by cheaper copycat own-label cereals.

Kellogg US spokesman Anthony Hebron says: “Don Fritz has resigned and this became effective immediately.” Fritz joined in 1979 as a category manager for cereals in Canada and worked in a number of different marketing roles. He became head of European operations four years ago.

Kellogg is going through a period of widescale upheaval – new company president Carlos Gutierrez is auditing all North American operations after Kellogg announced its intention to cut overhead costs by $100m (62.5m) over the next two years.

Advertising is under review, with at least one more agency expected to join the roster for the $400m (250m) business. The three US roster agencies are Leo Burnett, J Walter Thompson and Burrell Com- munications Group. The new contenders are Young & Rubicam, BBDO Worldwide, Grey, Ammirati Puris Lintas, Lowe & Partners and the Martin Agency in Virginia.

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