The Kraft Heinz Co. marked another milestone in its turnaround plan with the finalization of its U.S. Leadership Team, naming Cory Onell as president of U.S. sales; Sanjiv Gajiwala as U.S. chief growth officer; and Stephanie Peterson as head of U.S. communications.
The appointment of three new senior executives to key leadership team positions underscores the company’s commitment to driving sustained growth through customer-centric innovation, strategic investments and talent development. Leveraging extensive functional expertise and business acumen, each leader will bring new, complementary capabilities to the company’s U.S. business, the largest of the organization, and help shape the future of Kraft Heinz.
“I am thrilled to welcome Cory, Sanjiv and Stephanie to the Kraft Heinz family and believe they will add tremendous value to our business by helping accelerate our transformation agenda and drive growth,” said Carlos Abrams-Rivera, U.S. zone president for Kraft Heinz. “With their inclusion on our U.S. Leadership Team, we’re adding critical, best-in-class sales, marketing and communications capabilities that will help us build a new Kraft Heinz fueled by innovation, insights and agility.”
Onell joins Kraft Heinz with more than 20 years of experience leading sales organizations for consumer packaged goods companies. As the head of the U.S. sales organization, he will drive customer and channel growth by creating dynamic solutions that generate shared value while leveraging the power of the Kraft Heinz portfolio to reclaim category leadership.
Most recently, Onell served as SVP of sales and the head of U.S. retail and customer and commercial teams for the J.M. Smucker Co., after successful stints at Campbell Soup Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp., Mondelēz International and Kraft Foods.
As the U.S. chief growth officer, Gajiwala will champion the company’s consumer obsession in this newly created role. Leveraging rich insights and analytics, he will lead the charge in commercializing breakthrough innovations that speak directly to consumer needs and differentiate Kraft Heinz while applying a strategic omnichannel approach to help bring the company’s beloved brands to life in new and exciting ways.
Gajiwala joins Kraft Heinz from Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co., the leader in the flavored malt beverage category, where most recently he served as SVP of marketing.
Having joined Kraft Heinz at the end of May as the first head of U.S. communications, Peterson will lead all internal and external communications efforts for the zone business. Before Kraft Heinz, Peterson served in senior-level communications roles at PepsiCo, Kind Snacks and, most recently, IHOP Restaurants, where she led the communications function, spearheading executive visibility and franchisee communications as well as multi-faceted PR campaigns and experiential marketing initiatives that turned the iconic breakfast chain into one of the most relevant pop-culture brands of the last decade.
Onell, Gajiwala and Peterson all report to Kraft Heinz U.S. Zone President Abrams-Rivera.