The Chicago, Illinois-based Kraft Heinz Company has appointed Dafne Hefner to the newly created role of chief strategy and transformation officer in the North America zone.
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, where she most recently served as SVP of strategy and 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 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 and business from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.
Hefner is expected to bring the strategic planning, processes and digital capabilities required to fully unleash Kraft Heinz’s scale and 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.
“We are thrilled to have Dafne Hefner join Kraft Heinz as our chief strategy and transformation officer for our newly formed North America zone,” said Carlos Abrams-Rivera, EVP and president of North America at Kraft Heinz.
“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,” he said.
Hefner will serve as a key member of the North America leadership team and report directly to Abrams-Rivera.
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 and 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.
For more information, visit kraftheinzcompany.com.