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Kraft Foods Names George Zoghbi Vice Chair Of Ops, R&D, Sales And Strategy


Kraft Foods Group Inc. has appointed George Zoghbi to the newly created executive position of vice chairman of operations, R&D, sales and strategy, reporting directly to CEO Tony Vernon. The creation of this new role brings together the expertise of several key areas under one leader, including research and development, which creates innovative new products and manages quality improvements, to the manufacturing and sales teams that make and ultimately deliver Kraft’s products to customers.

“Kraft’s future growth will be driven by a disciplined approach to new product innovation, brand renovation and expansion across sales channels, which are all fueled by effective total cost management,” said Vernon. “As vice chairman, George Zoghbi will help advance our growth plans by taking a strategic, holistic view of our portfolio and how we take our products from concept to store shelves.”

Zoghbi has served as leader of Kraft’s Cheese & Dairy business since 2009. A skilled GM and developer of people, he led the business in a turnaround that has delivered outstanding top-line and bottom-line growth. Under his leadership, the Cheese & Dairy unit was the first to implement the company’s Integrated Business Planning initiative that aims to strengthen sales forecasting and supply chain planning, which is now being rolled out companywide.

Zoghbi joined Kraft’s former parent company, now known as Mondelez International, in 2007 as VP and area director of Australia and New Zealand where he oversaw all aspects of the regional business. Prior to joining Kraft, Zoghbi held a variety of leadership roles at Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy exporter. While there, his accomplishments included driving for operational excellence, integrating several acquired businesses and delivering growth through new channels.

Howard Friedman appointed EVP and president of Cheese & Dairy

With Zoghbi’s transition to vice chairman, the company announced the appointment of Howard Friedman to EVP and president of Cheese & Dairy, reporting to CEO Vernon. Most recently, he was president of sales responsible for Kraft’s largest retail customer, Walmart Stores Inc. In addition, Friedman is a 16-year Kraft veteran and has held positions of increasing leadership responsibility in marketing, where he managed such iconic brands as Philadelphia, Kraft Singles, Jell-O and Kool-Aid. He served as SVP of marketing for Cheese & Dairy before moving into his current sales role.

“I’m delighted we’re able to continue to build our bench strength by offering new growth and development opportunities to two of our talented and accomplished leaders,” said Vernon. “Our goal is to be the best recruiter, trainer and developer in our industry and that’s true at every level of our organization.”

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