PITTSBURGH & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Kraft Heinz Company (Nasdaq: KHC) (“Kraft Heinz” or the “Company”) today announced the appointment of Dafne Hefner to the newly created role of Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer - North America Zone, effective Jan. 18, 2022. Hefner is being hired to help accelerate the strategic growth plan in the Company’s U.S. and Canada businesses, including the broader deployment of Agile teams and a North America Zone digital agenda.
Hefner joins Kraft Heinz from Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (“AB InBev”), where she most recently served as Senior Vice President of Strategy & Insights. During her tenure, Hefner was a driving force behind establishing long-term company goals, creating a focused portfolio strategy, addressing brand renovation, and delivering an aggressive innovation agenda. As the architect of AB InBev’s first internal research and Agile agency, Hefner introduced new capabilities and an Agile approach to innovation that resulted in the company successfully rebalancing its brand portfolio and capturing the largest share of innovation in the industry. During her eight years with the company, she held various leadership positions in insights, marketing, and digital. Prior to AB InBev, Hefner spent more than eight years as a services and consumer products strategy consultant and co-founded a data analytics tech startup. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica and a master’s degree in Product Innovation & Business from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.
Hefner is a sought-after leader who is expected to bring the strategic planning, processes, and digital capabilities required to fully unleash Kraft Heinz’s scale + agility vision in its new North America Zone. Additionally, she will be responsible for leading an Agile Center of Excellence for the North America Zone, which will include dynamic resource allocation, prioritization of Agile team deployment across functions, and management of the Zone’s digital resources. She will serve as a key member of the North America Leadership Team and report directly to Carlos Abrams-Rivera, Executive Vice President & President, North America at Kraft Heinz.
“We are thrilled to have Dafne Hefner join Kraft Heinz as our Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer for our newly formed North America Zone,” said Abrams-Rivera. “Dafne brings a tremendous amount of leadership and experience to the critical areas we’ve been building since late 2020, including digital, innovation, and insights. Her proven ability to translate strategy into action, and effectively leverage Agile methodologies and teams at scale, will help us deliver a best-in-class innovation agenda, operations plan, and go-to-market approach.”
Since 2020, Kraft Heinz has taken multiple steps to transform its overall growth profile, strategic focus, and financial flexibility, including divesting certain assets in its global cheese and nuts businesses. The Company has also centered its business around a consumer-first approach, significantly investing in its portfolio, people, digital solutions, and customer relationships. Hefner is one of several senior leaders Kraft Heinz has brought on to its U.S. and Canada Leadership Teams in the last two years in an effort to add industry-leading expertise and new capabilities in critical areas such as commercialization, marketing, sales, insights, research & development, human resources, and communications.
In December 2021, the Company announced its intention to create a North America Zone by combining its U.S. and Canada businesses, a move aimed at advancing the global food and beverage leader’s long-term, sustainable growth plans. The North America Zone will begin structural transitions in early 2022, with full organizational and financial reporting changes expected to take effect at the start of its second fiscal quarter this year.
ABOUT THE KRAFT HEINZ COMPANY
We are driving transformation at The Kraft Heinz Company (Nasdaq: KHC), inspired by our Purpose, Let's Make Life Delicious. Consumers are at the center of everything we do. With 2020 net sales of approximately $26 billion, we are committed to growing our iconic and emerging food and beverage brands on a global scale. We leverage our scale and agility to unleash the full power of Kraft Heinz across a portfolio of six consumer-driven product platforms. As global citizens, we're dedicated to making a sustainable, ethical impact while helping feed the world in healthy, responsible ways. Learn more about our journey by visiting www.kraftheinzcompany.com or following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
This press release contains a number of forward-looking statements. Words such as “create,” “include,” “will,” “transform,” “accelerate,” “believe,” “expect,” “deliver,” “grow,” “leverage,” “establish,” “invest,” and variations of such words and similar future or conditional expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements include, but are not limited to, expected benefits of the proposed organizational change, impacts of the proposed organizational change on the Company’s business, financial results, opportunities, and future plans, and other statements that are not historical facts, each of which is based on the Company’s current beliefs, expectations, estimates, and projections. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and beyond the Company’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Those factors include, but are not limited to, the Company’s ability to achieve intended benefits of the organizational change, the expected costs of the organizational change, the success of business transitions, and the risk factors set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company’s most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K. The Company disclaims and does not undertake any obligation to update, revise, or withdraw any forward-looking statement in this press release, except as required by applicable law or regulation.