Burger King CEO Bernardo Hees is set to become the chief executive of Heinz when 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway‘s planned takeover of the US food giant is complete.
Hees has been boss of Burger King since 2010 when he was brought in to lead the US fast food chain by private-equity group 3G when it acquired the business. 3G still holds a stake in Burger King.
3G MD Alex Behring said Hees had an “unparalleled track record of delivering results”. Behring said: “Over the past two and a half years at Burger King, Bernardo grew adjusted EBITDA by 44 percent and expanded the company’s adjusted EBITDA margin by 14% from 19% in 2010 to 33% in 2012. His combination of experience, leadership skills and broad understanding of the food industry make him the ideal leader to drive the next chapter in Heinz’s storied history.”
The US$28bn takeover of Heinz, announced in February, is set to close by the third quarter of the year. Hees, a partner at 3G, will replace Heinz chairman, president and CEO Bill Johnson, who has spent over 30 years at the ketchup maker. Johnson joined Heinz in 1982 and became president and CEO in 1998. He assumed the role of chairman in 2000.
Heinz said 3G and Berkshire Hathaway expect to talk to Johnson about “a continuing role” with the business after the acquisition is complete.
Hees said he was “honoured” to become Heinz CEO and “build upon the great success established during Mr Johnson’s tenure”. He added: “Heinz is one of the premier food companies in the world, led by the iconic Heinz Ketchup business. I look forward to joining the team and working in close partnership with the company’s senior management, employees and customers to strengthen the business both domestically and internationally, while continuing to delight consumers with great tasting food products.”
Click here for our coverage of 3G and Berkshire’s deal to buy Heinz.