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Kraft Heinz says Paulo Basilio to return as CFO

Key Points
  • Kraft Heinz names Paulo Basilio as chief financial officer.
  • Basilio will replace David Knopf, a partner at 3G Capital.
  • In April, the embattled company named Miguel Patricio as CEO.
Kraft and Heinz products
Scott Olson | Getty Images

Kraft Heinz has named Paulo Basilio as its new chief financial officer, effective Sept. 1.

Basilio, 44, previously served as CFO from July 2015 to October 2017, when 3G Capital's David Knopf replaced him at age 29. After a transition, Knopf will return to the Brazilian investment firm, where he is a partner.

The regulatory filing announcing the change describes Basilio as a "seasoned veteran." He was CFO at H.J. Heinz before Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and private equity firm 3G Capital bought Kraft Foods and merged it with Heinz. After he stepped down as CFO of Kraft Heinz, he was president of U.S. commercial business. In July, he was named chief business planning and development officer.

Over the last year, the food giant has dealt with a series of struggles, sending shares down 57%. In February, it disclosed a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission four months earlier related to its accounting policies and internal controls. It also took a $15.4 billion write-down on Kraft and Oscar Mayer, two of its biggest brands.

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In May, the company said it will have to restate its financial statements for 2016 and 2017 after a review into its procurement and accounting procedures — prompted by the SEC subpoena — discovered employee misconduct. No senior executives were implicated as part of the internal review.

The review also resulted in the company delaying the filing of its annual report twice. When it reported its financial results for the first half of 2019 earlier this month, Kraft Heinz said it would be delaying the filing of its 10-Q.

"As Kraft Heinz charts a new path forward, CEO Miguel Patricio today announced several key changes to his senior Leadership Team," spokesman Michael Mullen said in a statement. "These moves are designed to rebuild the company's business momentum with a focus on driving long-term profitable growth."

The company also announced that Nina Barton, president of the Canada zone and digital growth, will be the company's chief growth officer, a newly created position. Bruno Keller, head of category development in Canada, will succeed Barton as the zone president of Canada.

Basilio's return to CFO follows the replacement of Kraft Heinz's CEO in April. Anheuser-Busch InBev's Miguel Patricio replaced Bernando Hees, who officially stepped down on June 30.

At AB InBev, Patricio was chief marketing officer from 2012 through last year, leading some to hope that he would bring a greater focus to Kraft Heinz's marketing.

3G Capital's strategy has focused on driving growth by making acquisitions and cutting costs, which resulted in a lack of investment in Kraft Heinz brands like Oscar Mayer. And as deal opportunities have dried up, sales have grown stagnant.

Kraft Heinz shares were up 1.1% on Monday afternoon.