Kraft adds marketing experience to board

Kraft Foods has appointed two new independent directors to its board, who are both notable for their brand building and marketing experience.

The US food giant, which is currently awaiting shareholder response to a £10.2bn bid for Cadbury, has appointed brewer Heineken’s chief executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer and former chairman of retailer VF, Mackey McDonald to its board of directors. Their terms will begin on 1 January.

Kraft’s chairman and CEO says the appointments are “terrific additions to our Board as we continue to build on our position as a global powerhouse in snacks, confectionery and quick meals.”

She adds van Boxmeer will be useful because he “is known as a builder of iconic, global brands with a strong track record for driving revenue growth and leading acquisitions and integrations.” Mackey will also help to bring “a deep knowledge of consumer products, retailing, marketing and brand-building, as well as deep experience in leading business transformation.”

At Heineken, van Boxmeer led the 2008 acquisition of brewer Scottish & Newcastle, which expanded Heineken’s business in the U.K., Portugal, Finland, Belgium, Ireland, India and the United States. It is unclear if he will leave this role to take up the independent position.

The new directors add to a strengthening of personnel with marketing experience to the brand, as it seeks to take over Cadbury.

Last week, its European division appointed Daryl Fielding, the former Ogilvy & Mather executive and prime architect of the Dove Real Women campaign, as its vice-president of marketing.

Cadbury shareholders have until 5 January 2010 to respond to the offer. Kraft says they would be taking a risk if they support Cadbury’s independence.

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