Kraft Foods names board chair John Cahill as chairman and CEO

Kraft Foods on Thursday named John Cahill, chairman of its board of directors, as chairman and CEO of the company. Cahill previously worked as chairman and CEO of PepsiCo.

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Cahill will succeed Tony Vernon, who will retire on Dec. 27, having served the company as CEO since October 2012. Vernon was previously Kraft's executive vice president and president, and will remain a senior advisor through March 2015.

In a statement, Cahill said, "While our immediate priority will be to remain focused on delivering results, we will also take a fresh look at the business to prioritize our investments and focus on sustainable profit growth."

Mackey J. McDonald, Lead Independent Director of Kraft Foods, said in a statement, "Tony has been a passionate leader, and was instrumental in leading the creation of Kraft Foods Group two years ago as a result of the spin-off from Mondelez International, Inc...With the company on solid footing after the spin-off, the time is right for new leadership to fulfill our potential as the industry leader. The board and Tony agree that we need to accelerate the pace of change."