Kraft Heinz has named Carlos Abrams-Rivera, the head of the company’s operations in North America, as its new CEO.

Abrams-Rivera, who has worked for the Heinz ketchup maker for three years, will take the helm on 1 January, succeeding Miguel Patricio.

Until then, Abrams-Rivera will continue in his current role and hold a second position of group president.

Abrams-Rivera joined Kraft Heinz three years ago from Campbell Soup Co., where he was president of the group’s snacks business. Before Campbell, Abrams-Rivera spent two years at Mondelez International.

Patricio, who has been Kraft Heinz CEO since July 2019, will become the Oscar Mayer brand owner’s non-executive chair at the start of next year.

Jack Pope, lead director of the board at Kraft Heinz, said: “The transition from Miguel to Carlos reflects the board’s thoughtful succession planning and we are confident that the company will continue to accelerate growth with Carlos assuming the role of CEO. He is an experienced leader with a long tenure in the food and beverage industry who has shown consistency and excellence in execution.”

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Patricio was hired as chief executive in 2019, after having spent 20 years at brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev.

His appointment came after the Kraft cheese maker raised eyebrows across the food industry with a multi-faceted announcement in 2019, that included an SEC probe into the company’s procurement, fourth-quarter profits that missed expectations, an outlook for 2019 that also disappointed Wall Street and a US$15bn write-down on certain assets.

In 2022, he was also appointed chair of the board of directors after the retirement of Alexandre Behring following the end of his term at the company’s 2022 annual meeting.

“We are extremely grateful for Miguel’s leadership over the past four years. He has a deep understanding of marketing and consumers, which was instrumental to the company’s turnaround,” Pope said.

Patricio stabilised Kraft Heinz, embarking on moves to cut jobs and sell off assets.

In 2020, the company offloaded a clutch of cheese brands such as Breakstone’s and Athenos to French dairy major Lactalis for $3.2bn.

A year later, Kraft Heinz sold its Planters snack-nut business to US business Hormel Foods for $3.3bn.

Patricio also struck two acquisitions, buying Brazil-based condiments supplier Companhia Hemmer Indústria e Comércio and Assan Foods, a Turkey-based condiments supplier, in 2021.

Patricio said Abrams-Rivera’s “strategic and innovative mindset is ideal to continue to propel Kraft Heinz forward on our path to greatness”.

He added: “Since joining Kraft Heinz in 2020, he has consistently delivered strong results in the North American retail and away-from-home businesses. Carlos’ experience in both developed and emerging markets complements our ambition for growth. … I am confident that Kraft Heinz is poised for more growth in the years to come.”

Shares in Kraft Heinz, down more than 15% so far in 2023, had dipped 0.8% on the day at 12:28 GMT today.