Global snack giant Mondelez International has selected Dirk Van de Put as its new CEO to succeed Irene Rosenfeld, who will step down in November.
Rosenfeld will continue as chairman of the board until March 31, 2018, when she will retire, and Van de Put, currently CEO of McCain Foods, will assume the role of board chairman.
"I am very proud of what our 90,000 colleagues at Mondelez International have accomplished," Rosenfeld said. "Throughout my tenure as CEO, the world and our industry have undergone a period of unprecedented change. During that time, we anticipated emerging challenges, adapted accordingly and created significant value for our shareholders. The outlook is bright for this great company — one of the few that has consistently delivered on both the top and bottom lines, while making critical investments for future growth."
Van de Put brings nearly 30 years of experience in the food and consumer package industry to Mondelez. During six years as CEO of Canada-based McCain, the largest marketer and manufacturer of frozen French fries, potato specialties and appetizers, he grew net sales by more than 50 percent, generating more than 75 percent of that growth organically, with EBITDA growing double digits each of the last six years.
"The board and I are confident that Dirk Van de Put is the right leader to take us forward,” Rosenfeld said “He is a seasoned global CEO, having lived and worked on three different continents, with deep experience and expertise in all critical business and commercial operations in both emerging and developed markets. Throughout his career, Dirk has had a proven track record of driving top-line and category growth, while at the same time improving cost structures and profitability. And he has achieved these results with a values-based leadership style and steadfast focus on people."
Prior to joining McCain, Van de Put held executive positions with Novartis, Groupe Danone, The Coca-Cola Co. and Mars Inc.
"Our thorough, multiyear succession process has identified Dirk as the right leader with a distinct combination of skills and industry experience necessary to succeed as our next CEO,” said Mark Ketchum, Mondelez’s lead independent director. “Our process was global in nature and thoroughly considered numerous highly talented internal and external candidates before making our final decision."
Ketchum continued, "We also want to thank Irene for the vision and leadership she brought to building this great company. Over the past decade, she changed the face, footprint and growth prospects of Kraft Foods and then created Mondelez International, by reinvigorating the company's iconic brands, transforming the portfolio, strengthening the company's presence in emerging markets and aggressively improving margins. Under her stewardship, Mondelez International has become the leading global snacking company, delivering tremendous value to shareholders. We are extremely grateful for her leadership and for agreeing to stay on as chairman through the first quarter of next year, to ensure a smooth and seamless transition."
With 2016 net revenues of $26 billion, Deerfield, Ill.-based Mondelez International Inc. is a world leader in biscuits, chocolate, gum, candy and powdered beverages, featuring brands such as Oreo, BelVita, Cadbury and Trident.