Mad Money

On Set With Heinz CEO Bill Johnson


With all the action in the market lately -- and we don't mean good action -- Cramer's been focusing on defensive stocks for all you Home Gamers to buy until things even out. Today in Texas, he brought on the CEO of what he called the "ultimate defensive play." Turns out he's a UT alum to boot.

Playing Ketchup

Heinz Chairman, President and CEO Bill Johnson made an appearance for this Back to School Tour stop. Cramer took the opportunity to ask about noisy shareholders, in Johnson's case, billionaire Nelson Peltz. After an aggressive push, Peltz now has two seats on the Heinz board of directors and has wooed company executives with his plans to turn the company around.

Johnson admitted that most CEOs don't think they have bosses, but in truth they answer to the board, shareholders like Peltz, and customers as well. Initial resistance to "suggestions" from people outside the corner office is normal, he says, but wrong. The fact that Heinz's stock has jumped 34%, to about $46, in the past year is proof that Peltz was right.

"Innovation is the theme of the company," says Johnson, and Heinz is busy studying the trends set by younger people such as those at McCombs to see where next to take his business. Cramer loves the company, and he thinks it would make a great play for any portfolio.

Questions? Comments?