| Business

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Heinz names North America chief

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

By Bloomberg News
Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, 7:18 p.m.

HJ Heinz Co. named Eduardo Luz as president of its North America division, shaking up management for the second time since Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and 3G Capital took over the ketchup maker.

Luz is replacing Brendan Foley, according to an emailed statement from Michael Mullen, a spokesman for Pittsburgh-based Heinz. Melissa Werneck was named senior vice president of global human resources, replacing Kristen Clark. Fernando Pocaterra, president of Latin America, is going as well.

Heinz Chief Executive Officer Bernardo Hees appointed Foley, Pocaterra and Clark to their posts in June as part of a broader management overhaul. The CEO has been on a cost-cutting drive since the $29 billion acquisition in June by Jorge Paulo Lemann's 3G and Warren Buffett's Berkshire. Hees has cut jobs, announced plans to shut factories and changed policies to trim office expenses.

“These changes were made to better position the company for success in 2014 and beyond,” Mullen said in the statement. “Heinz thanks Mr. Foley, Ms. Clark and Mr. Pocaterra for their leadership and commitment.”

A successor for Latin America will be announced at a later date, Heinz said. Luz was managing director of Heinz's North American consumer products business. Werneck joined Heinz in July and was senior vice president of performance and information technology, roles she will keep. David Moran, who left Heinz in the first round of senior leadership changes, was responsible for North America before Foley.

Hees, 44, has been retooling Heinz since firing managers and reducing costs at another 3G investment, Burger King Worldwide Inc. The CEO has been pursuing cuts at the ketchup maker to speed decision making, boost margins and pay down debt.

Heinz has grounded corporate jets, pulled the plug on mini fridges at the office and placed limits on color printing, Bloomberg News reported in September. The company said last month that severance costs would be about $300 million as Hees cuts 2,000 jobs.

Sales for the quarter ended Oct. 27 slipped 3.7 percent to $2.7 billion from a year earlier, in part because of a decrease in volume in the United States and United Kingdom, Heinz said last month. The company made a “strategic decision” to focus on improving its margins and limited the frequency and depth of sales promotions, Chief Financial Officer Paul Basilio said.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Signs of steady U.S. economy: Pay, home sales up, unemployment applications down
  2. Smartphones expected to overtake desktops for holiday shopping
  3. Nutritional supplement makers, led by GNC, want to create voluntary safety standards
  4. Many Black Friday deals not worth the hassle
  5. Stocks finish flat before Thanksgiving holiday; energy firms give back some gains
  6. Take steps to make it harder for holiday hackers
  7. Covestro leader MacCleary finds stability amid change
  8. German financial giant Allianz SE slashes coal investments
  9. Union leaders warn Post-Gazette newsroom of possible layoffs
  10. QVC blazes trail as mobile retail giant
  11. Auto review: Cadillac CTS-V makes big impression with speed, power, comfort