Cadbury executives to step down following Kraft deal
Chairman Roger Carr, chief executive Todd Stitzer and chief financial officer Andrew Bonfield of Cadbury have announced today that they will step down from the British confectioner.
The three bosses announced their resignations following a shareholder vote which will see US food giant, Kraft, takeover the 186-year-old iconic British company in a £11.5 billion ($18.9 billion) deal.
The vote brought an end to Kraft’s five-month battle to take control of Cadbury, which is renowned for Dairy Milk and Crunchie.
Commenting on his departure, Roger Carr said: “Together we have fought an excellent defence campaign and delivered substantial value to Cadbury shareholders.”
Mr Carr was vocal throughout the battle with Kraft and urged shareholders not to let Kraft “steal your company with its derisory offer“.
Mr Carr also criticised Kraft’s management and its track record of “overpromising and underdelivering” and said: “We do not need to be subsumed into a lumbering, corporate monolith to achieve our aims.”
However, following yesterday’s vote, Cadbury said it had received valid acceptances of the offer from shareholders representing 71.7% of the company.
Meanwhile, Todd Stitzer, who has been with Cadbury for almost three decades, said: “I wish [Kraft chief executive] Irene Rosenfeld and her team every success in taking Cadbury and its brands forward.”
Andrew Bonfield, who has been with the confectioner for just a year, said: “My time at Cadbury has been too brief, but I’ve enjoyed every minute.”
Departure dates for all three executives has yet to be confirmed but is expected to be weeks rather than months.
Kraft, which is renowned for brands such as Kenco coffee and Oreo biscuits, is one of the world’s biggest food and beverage companies.
According to Kraft, a combination of the two firms will create a “global powerhouse” in food and confectionery, with annual sales of around US$50 billion.