H. J. Heinz Company (NYSE: HNZ - news) today announced that David R. Williams (57) has been appointed President and CEO of Heinz Europe, effective immediately. He will replace A. G. Malcolm Ritchie (46) who has agreed to become the Chairman and CEO of United Biscuits in the UK. Richard Wamhoff (55), Executive Vice President-Global Manufacturing/Supply Chain, will become Executive Vice President- Heinz Asia/Pacific, replacing Mr. Williams. Michael D. Milone (43) Senior Vice President-Global Category Development will assume responsibility for Latin America.

Commenting on the executive changes, Heinz President and CEO William R. Johnson said: "Dave Williams is a first-class, highly experienced senior executive who will continue the tradition of excellent leadership in Europe and bring a broad global perspective. Dave will complete the transformation, initiated several years ago, of Heinz Europe to a pan-European marketing company. During the past three years, he has guided the expansion and development of Heinz interests in the Asia/Pacific region. During that time, we have built Heinz into one of the most prominent American food companies in the region through the growth in existing businesses and through acquisitions and partnerships in Indonesia, China and the Philippines."

Mr. Johnson continued: "Dick Wamhoff is an accomplished leader with successful tenures as President of both StarKist and Ore-Ida and as Executive Vice President of Heinz Frozen Food, Heinz Africa and Heinz India. In his most recent assignment as head of Global Manufacturing/Supply Chain, Dick has achieved significant productivity and quality improvements, superbly leveraging new technology and Heinz's global category management process. Mike Milone has successfully led the globalization of the category process at Heinz focusing on transfer of innovation and ideas."

Mr. Williams first joined Heinz UK in 1967 as a member of its Financial Department. In 1976 he was promoted to the position of Director-Global Corporate Audit in World Headquarters. In 1983 Mr. Williams became a Vice President at StarKist Foods and, five years later, was promoted to Corporate Vice President and Controller at World Headquarters. Mr. Williams became Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 1992, adding responsibility for India, Pakistan and Southern Africa in 1994. In 1996 Mr. Williams was promoted to Executive Vice President when he became responsible for StarKist Seafood, Heinz Pet Products and Ore-Ida. Since 1997, Mr. Williams has been Executive Vice President in charge of Heinz Asia/Pacific and South America. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the H. J. Heinz Company.

Mr. Williams graduated with a BA degree in economics from Exeter University in the UK and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in the UK. His office will be in London.

Mr. Wamhoff joined Heinz USA in 1968 as a controller's analyst. After three years in the US Air Force, he returned to Heinz USA as Senior Purchasing Analyst. In 1976 he became Senior Manager-Financial Planning. In 1980 Mr. Wamhoff was promoted to Vice President-Logistics in Heinz USA and in 1989 was named Vice President-Heinz Pet Products. In 1992 Mr. Wamhoff was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of StarKist Seafood and the following year became President and CEO of Ore-Ida Foods. In 1998 he was appointed Executive Vice President at World Headquarters, responsible for Global Manufacturing/Supply Chain and for Heinz Frozen Food.

Mr. Wamhoff graduated from Valparaiso University with a BS degree in 1967 and received an MBA degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Mr. Milone joined Heinz USA in 1980 and became Product Manager for ketchup in 1983 and General Manager for condiments in 1986. In 1990 he became General Manager-Dog Food Marketing at Heinz Pet Products and Vice President-Marketing in 1995. He was promoted to President and COO of Heinz Pet Products in 1996. In 1998 Mr. Milone was appointed Vice President-Category Development at World Headquarters.

Mr. Milone graduated from Colgate University with a BA in 1978 and received an MBA from the Wharton School.

ABOUT HEINZ: With sales over US$9 billion, H. J. Heinz Company is one of the world's leading marketers of branded foods to supermarkets and away-from- home eating establishments. Its 50 companies operate in some 200 countries, offering more than 57 hundred varieties. Among the company's famous brands are Heinz, StarKist, Ore-Ida, 9-Lives, Weight Watchers, Wattie's, Plasmon, Farley's, Smart Ones, The Budget Gourmet, Linda McCartney, San Marco, Go Ahead!, Bagel Bites, John West, Petit Navire, Boston Market, Skippy, Kibbles 'n Bits, Pounce, Wagwells, Nature's Recipe, Orlando, ABC, Olivine and Pudliszki. Information on Heinz is available at http://www.heinz.com.