She will lead the business that will include brands such as Cadbury, Oreo, Milka and Trident, and expected to be worth $31bn (£19.8bn).
Mark Ketchum, lead director of the Kraft Foods board, says: “Irene was the obvious choice to lead the global snacks company. As a result of her bold vision, courage to transform Kraft Foods’ portfolio and investment in core brands and high-growth developing markets, we are now able to launch two formidable world-class companies.”
Tony Vernon, current executive vice president and president of Kraft Foods North America and former marketer, will become CEO of the North American grocery company, which will include brands such as Philadelphia, Capri Sun and Maxwell House coffee, expected to be worth $17bn (£10.9bn).
Ketchum adds: “His focus on marketing innovation, new products and on disciplined cost control has set our North American business on a new trajectory, and I have great confidence in the future.”
John Cahill, current industrial partner of private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings and former PepsiCo and KFC finance chief will be the chairman of the North American Grocery company responsible for financial and strategic matters following the spin off. He is also on the board of Colgate-Palmolive.
The current management structure of Kraft Foods will remain in place until the spin off completes at the end of 2012.
Kraft announced in August that it will split the company to create two separate organisations with separate strategic directions.