Outsider Takes CEO Post at Oreo Maker Mondelez

Mondelez International on Wednesday named Dirk Van de Put as their new CEO. Van de Put prior to taking over as CEO at Mondelez was the head of McCain Foods the frozen foods maker in Canada.

He will be replacing long-time CEO Irene Rosenfeld, at a time the snacks company is grappling with dropping profits as well as activist investors.

The departure of Rosenfeld, which takes place in November, will end a challenging tenure of 11 years first as the CEO for Kraft Foods Group, then as CEO of renamed Mondelez.

Mondelez has attempted to make foods that are healthier with simpler ingredients as it tries to keep abreast of the changing tastes of consumers, but its efforts have not stopped the drop in sales.

Mondelez sales as well as earnings have dropped on a consistent basis since a spinoff was engineered by Rosenfeld of the grocery business for Kraft.

Earnings last year of just over $1.66 billion were down over half of their total in 2013, the first complete year as a company focused on snacks, led by brands such as Oreo cookies, Ritz and Triscuit crackers.

Van de Put, who is 57, has worked at companies such as Coca Cola and Mars, the candy maker before being the CEO at McCain, which is privately held. He will be named the Mondelez chairman as well after Rosenfeld retires in March of 2018.

Bill Ackman the activist investor of Pershing Square and Trian Fund Management’s Nelson Peltz had pushed for earnings to be boosted by Rosenfeld.

Peltz, who wanted a merger between Mondelez and PepsiCo after his fund acquired stakes in each in 2013, was named to the board at Mondelez in 2014.

Hershey Co just over one year ago spurned a takeover big $107 a share from Mondelez. After the news of a change in its CEO, shares at Mondelez were 0.6% higher.

In addition, the company on Wednesday posted revenue for the second quarter that just beat estimates on Wall Street.

Mondelez cited the experience of Van de Put for both developed and emerging markets as well as success in driving an increase in sales of over 50% as the top executive at McCain.

The planned departure of Rosenfeld comes on the day that the second largest confectionary company in the world posted its largest drop for revenue in North American since its spinoff.

Sales fell 5% to just over $6 billion.

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