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Mondelez appoints Dirk Van de Put to succeed Irene Rosenfeld as CEO

LiveMint logoLiveMint 02-08-2017 Siddharth Cavale

Bengaluru: Oreo cookies maker Mondelez International Inc said it appointed Dirk Van de Put, the current chief executive of Canadian frozen foods maker McCain Foods, to succeed Irene Rosenfeld as the company’s chief executive from November 2017.

Shares of the company, which also reported a higher-than-expected second-quarter profit, were up 2.5% at $44.70 before the bell.

The world’s second-largest confectionary company also said it would increase its quarterly cash dividend by 16% to 22 cents per share.

Rosenfeld has been associated with the company for more than 11 years, first as the CEO of Kraft and then as the CEO of Mondelez, which was spun off from Kraft in 2012.

Rosenfeld will continue as chairman of the board until 31 March 2018, at which point she will retire and Van de Put will assume the role of chairman and CEO, the company said in a statement.

Van de Put, who has about 30 years of experience in the packaged food industry, has held executive roles at Coca Cola Co , Mars Inc and Groupe Danone.

The move comes amid stagnant organic sales growth at Mondelez as consumers reach for healthier options over processed packaged foods.

Quarterly sales fell 5% to $5.99 billion, hurt by low demand for its main brands such as Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka chocolate and Oreo cookies, especially in North America.

A cyber attack on its systems, which led to shipping and invoicing delays, also weighed on revenue.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $498 million, or 32 cents per share in the second quarter, from $464 million, or 29 cents per share a year earlier, helped by lower selling, general and administrative expenses.

The company, which has been cutting costs since its takeover bid for rival Hershey fell apart last August, said selling, general and administrative expenses fell about 13.1% to $1.45 billion in the quarter.

The company is in the midst of a plan to cut about $3 billion in costs by the end of 2018 through measures such as opening more efficient manufacturing plants and zero-based budgeting, which requires expenses to be justified for each new period.

Excluding items, Mondelez earned 48 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 45 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Reuters

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