Eduardo Luz, U.S. chief marketing and global brand officer at Kraft Heinz, will leave the company at the end of May.
CNBC confirmed the news on Friday, following an earlier internal memo to employees about Luz’s departure from longtime CEO Bernardo Hees, who will himself leave on June 30.
“Eduardo Luz has decided to leave Kraft Heinz at the end of May. We thank him for his many contributions over the past six years and we wish him continued success,” the company said in a statement.
Adam Butler, currently president of beverages, snacks and desserts at Kraft Heinz, will serve as CMO on an interim basis. He started with Kraft Foods more than a decade ago, prior to its acquisition by Heinz.
In his memo, Hees credited Luz (above) with helping to restore top-line growth while overseeing the grocery division, including driving the growth of the Heinz brand, whose sales rose 26% during the past six years, per Nielsen, reported CNBC.
However, other brands have continued to struggle. In February, the company took a $15.4-billion write-down on its Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands, and slashed its dividend by 36%, on top of higher-than-expected costs and a loss of $12.6 billion in Q4.
It also revealed an SEC investigation of its accounting practices, and has now twice delayed filing its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Over this past weekend, Warren Buffett, head of Kraft Heinz’s biggest investor, Berkshire Hathaway, said that Kraft Heinz is in a dispute with its auditor, CNBC reported.
Kraft Heinz shares are down by more than 24% year-to-date.
Hees will be succeeded as CEO by Miguel Patricio, a two-decade veteran of Anheuser-Busch InBev who served as global CMO from 2012 through 2018, and previously held executive marketing positions at Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola and Philip Morris.
The June 30 departure of Eduardo Pelleissone, Kraft Heinz’s head of strategic projects, was also announced last month.