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February 7, 2020

Arnott’s brings in Kraft Heinz man George Zoghbi as CEO

Australia-based food group Arnott's has a new CEO in the shape of an experienced industry figure who joins from US food giant Kraft Heinz.

By Leonie Barrie

Australia-based food group Arnott’s has a new CEO in the shape of George Zoghbi who joins from US food giant Kraft Heinz.

Arnott’s, owned by US soup and snacks heavyweight Campbell Soup Co. until it was sold to investment firm KKR late last year, described Zoghbi as an “international consumer packaged goods industry leader”.

Zoghbi, who will take up his new position next month, succeeds Brian Driscoll, a KKR senior adviser and chairman of the Arnott’s board, who has been serving as interim CEO.

At present a special adviser and board director at Kraft Heinz, Zoghbi was chief operating officer of the ketchup maker’s US business from 2015 to 2017 having previously run its Australian and New Zealand operations. He has also held roles with New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra and Australia’s George Weston Foods.

Driscoll said: “We are thrilled to welcome an accomplished executive of George’s calibre to lead the business and support our experienced management team through the next phase of evolution. We are confident that George’s leadership will challenge the business to seek growth and innovation opportunities so we can continue to serve our loyal consumers. This is an exciting milestone for Arnott’s as we transition to becoming an independent company following KKR’s recent acquisition of the business.”

Zoghbi said: “I feel very privileged to be able to lead a company with such deep Australian heritage and a portfolio of such unique and iconic brands. Arnott’s is an incredible business with extremely talented employees.”

David Lang, partner at KKR, said: “Given the importance of Arnott’s and its products to Australian consumers, it was critical that we attracted a strong CEO who deeply understands global industry trends and our local market. George has the long-term vision, proven track record and respect for the iconic brand value to ensure Arnott’s remains well ahead of the curve.”

Sydney-based Arnott’s also has operations in the Australian cities of Brisbane and Adelaide, as well as in the Indonesian city of Bekasi. Besides biscuits, Arnott’s portfolio includes Campbell’s simple meals businesses in Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan, as well as  manufacturing operations in Australia and Malaysia.

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