Kraft Foods has announced that CFO Timothy McLevish plans to leave the company and will be replaced by executive vice president for operations David Brearton.

The food manufacturer said yesterday (14 March) that McLevish will leave the company in mid-2011 to “pursue opportunities in general management” and will officially shift his CFO responsibilities to Brearton after the company files its first-quarter financial statements.

Commenting on McLevish’s time with the company, chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld said: “He was instrumental in several important transactions that have in fact transformed our portfolio and improved our growth trajectory, including the split-off of Post cereals, the sale of the North American frozen pizza business, and the acquisition of Cadbury. Tim, along with the rest of the management team, executed our three-year turnaround plan and established a foundation to drive down costs and overheads, while markedly improving the company’s cash flow.”

Kraft said Brearton joined the company in 1984 in Canada, progressing through a series of finance roles including senior vice president for finance at Kraft Foods International. He has led functions including strategy, mergers and acquisitions information system, and as head of operations, overseeing the procurement, manufacturing, customer service and logistics functions.

“Dave has more than 25 years of experience in senior financial and broader cross-functional roles both domestically and internationally. I’m confident that Dave’s deep understanding of the consumer packaged goods industry and his intimate knowledge of Kraft Foods will enable him to step into the CFO role seamlessly and continue our drive toward top-tier financial performance,” said Rosenfeld.