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Kraft’s CFO exits; EVP operations to take helm

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — Kraft Foods on Monday announced that its EVP and CFO, Timothy McLevish, will leave the company in mid-2011.

McLevish, who served as EVP and CFO for Kraft since 2007, will shift his CFO responsibilities to EVP operations David Brearton. Prior to his exit, McLevish will report the company’s first-quarter financial results.

McLevish was called "instrumental" in several transactions that helped boost Kraft’s portfolio, including the split-off of Post cereals, the sale of the company’s North American frozen pizza business and the acquisition of Cadbury.

"Tim has had a clear mandate to reshape the portfolio and our capital structure, which he accomplished with the highest-quality results," Kraft chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld said. "We will miss Tim’s perspective and commitment, but we respect his desire to take on new and different challenges."

Meanwhile, Kraft said it has initiated an external search to fill Brearton’s current role as EVP operations. Brearton joined the company in 1984 and has been a member of the Kraft executive team for the past six years.

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Wonder salutes everyday heroes in line with anniversary celebration

BY Allison Cerra

IRVING, Texas — As part of its 90th anniversary celebration, Wonder bread is gearing up to launch a campaign to honor America’s everyday heroes.

The soon-to-be-launched "Wonder Heroes" campaign will select people from 800 submissions to Wonder’s Facebook page. The everyday heroes then will appear on limited-edition packages available in stores around Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day.

"While a long history of memorable marketing campaigns has helped Wonder soar to iconic status, the real secret of its enduring appeal is continuing to be at the forefront of countless innovations — from packaging to nutrition enhancements — that have kept it relevant among consumers and have had a lasting impact on the bread industry overall," said Stephany Verstraete, SVP marketing for the bakers of Wonder. "With the 90th anniversary, we’re not only celebrating Wonder’s remarkable history, but also its future as a contemporary brand that listens to the changing needs of its consumer. More of the best things since sliced bread are, in fact, yet to come."

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Annika Sorenstam to promote Lipton’s RTD teas

BY Allison Cerra

ORLANDO, Fla. — A joint venture between PepsiCo and Unilever has tapped a Hall of Fame golfer to promote ready-to-drink iced teas throughout the state of Florida.

The Pepsi Lipton Tea partnership said Annika Sorenstam will promote Lipton ready-to-drink iced teas through in-market appearances and regional advertising for its portfolio of RTD iced tea products, which includes Lipton and Lipton Pure Leaf iced teas.

"We’re thrilled to have Annika represent Lipton iced teas," said Mary Barnard, general manager of the Pepsi Lipton Tea partnership. "From her success on the golf course to her amazing work promoting health and wellness, Annika embodies the Lipton spirit and inspires others to pursue an active, healthy life."

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