Food & Beverage

Dirk Van de Put named CEO of Mondelēz as long-time CEO Irene Rosenfeld retires

Irene Rosenfeld to step down as Mondelez CEO
Irene Rosenfeld to step down as Mondelez CEO

Oreo cookies maker Mondelez International said it appointed Dirk Van de Put, the current chief executive of Canadian frozen foods maker McCain Foods, to succeed Irene Rosenfeld as the company's chief executive from November 2017.

Shares of the company, which also reported a higher-than-expected second-quarter profit, were up 2.5 percent at $44.70 before the bell.

The world's second-largest confectionary company also said it would increase its quarterly cash dividend by 16 percent to 22 cents per share.

Rosenfeld has been associated with the company for more than 11 years, first as the CEO of Kraft and then as the CEO of Mondelez, which was spun off from Kraft in 2012.

Rosenfeld will continue as chairman of the board until March 31, 2018, at which point she will retire and Van de Put will assume the role of chairman and CEO, the company said in a statement.

Van de Put, who has about 30 years of experience in the packaged food industry, has held executive roles at Coca Cola Co , Mars Inc and Groupe Danone.

The move comes amid stagnant organic sales growth at Mondelez as consumers reach for healthier options over processed packaged foods.

Quarterly sales fell 5 percent to $5.99 billion, hurt by low demand for its main brands such as Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka chocolate and Oreo cookies, especially in North America.

A cyber attack on its systems, which led to shipping and invoicing delays, also weighed on revenue.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $498 million, or 32 cents per share in the second quarter, from $464 million, or 29 cents per share a year earlier, helped by lower selling, general and administrative expenses.

The company, which has been cutting costs since its takeover bid for rival Hershey fell apart last August, said selling, general and administrative expenses fell about 13.1 percent to $1.45 billion in the quarter.

The company is in the midst of a plan to cut about $3 billion in costs by the end of 2018 through measures such as opening more efficient manufacturing plants and zero-based budgeting, which requires expenses to be justified for each new period.

Excluding items, Mondelez earned 48 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 45 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

EXCLUSIVE: Irene Rosenfeld, Mondelez chairman and CEO joins CNBC at 9:10 a.m. ET.