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Kraft Shuffles Key Management for 'More Creative' Strategy

NORTHFIELD, Ill. -- Kraft Foods, Inc. said yesterday that it's realigning top management to sharpen its focus on innovation and marketing. The shakeup comes from the leading manufacturer's new c.e.o., Irene Rosenfeld, who replaced c.e.o. Roger Deromedi in June.

"Our new team will build a Kraft that is bolder, more agile, more creative, and more focused," Rosenfeld said in a statement. "We're putting more day-to-day decision-making in the hands of our North American sectors and international regions -- the people closest to our consumers, customers, and markets. And we will focus more intensely on consumers' evolving food and beverage needs to take full advantage of our broad product portfolio and to accelerate growth."

Jeri Finard, 46, who previously was e.v.p. of global category development, was named to the new post of c.m.o., to lead consumer innovation and marketing services under a new group that combines the company's global category development and global marketing resources and initiatives divisions.

As a result of combining these two groups, Paula Sneed, e.v.p. of GMRI, has chosen to leave Kraft after a transition period, the company said.

Rick Searer, 53, current North American president of the convenient meals sector, was named president of Kraft North America Commercial, to replace Dave Johnson, 49, who is leaving the company.

Hugh Roberts, 54, plans to retire as president of Kraft International Commercial, effective early next year. Kraft said it has begun a search for his successor.

David Brearton, 45, was named e.v.p. for global business services and strategy. Linda Hefner, 47, current e.v.p. of global strategy and business development, plans to pursue an outside opportunity, Kraft said.

Marc Firestone has been named to the newly created position of e.v.p., corporate & legal affairs and general counsel. He will lead the company's communications, government affairs, community involvement, law, and compliance activities.
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