Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT), a global leader in branded foods and beverages, today announced two key appointments in its research and development organization, naming Jean Spence, 44, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Scientific Affairs and Compliance, a newly created position; and John Baxter, 42, Senior Vice President, Research and Development/Quality, Kraft Foods International.
Spence, formerly Vice President, Worldwide Quality and Scientific Relations, will continue to oversee quality on a worldwide basis, coordinate global compliance programs and will be responsible for scientific relations, regulatory issues, microbiology and auditing. Spence will be a member of the Kraft Foods North America Operating Committee and will report to Irene B. Rosenfeld, Group Vice President, Kraft Foods North America, and President, Operations, Technology, Information Systems, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Baxter, formerly Vice President Research and Development, European Confectionery and Food, will now lead Kraft’s R&D programs in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. He will report to Roger K. Deromedi, Co-CEO, Kraft Foods Inc., and CEO and President, Kraft Foods International. Baxter succeeds David Olsen, Senior Vice President, Research and Development/Quality, Kraft Foods International, who has announced his decision to retire from the company after 34 years.
“Dave Olsen has been a terrific asset to the company throughout his career, and most recently has provided outstanding direction to our international R&D function,” said Deromedi. “While Dave will be greatly missed, John has provided exceptional leadership to our Munich-based European R&D organization over the past several years, and brings a deep understanding of the needs of our international business to his new role.”
“Sharing resources and knowledge globally across the company in Scientific Affairs, Quality and Compliance will enable us to implement best practices and leverage our collective experiences,” said Betsy D. Holden, Co-CEO, Kraft Foods Inc., and CEO and President, Kraft Foods North America. “Jean’s new position recognizes the importance Kraft places on product quality and compliance, and her strong leadership will be invaluable to the company.”
Spence joined Kraft in 1981 as a research engineer for Maxwell House coffee research, and she holds three U.S. and worldwide patents for her development work. She has held a number of management positions in R&D and Quality throughout her career, and in 1993, she was named Quality Assurance Director, followed by Research Director, Beverages, in 1994 and Group Director for Beverages and Desserts in 1995. She became Vice President of Technology in 1996, before being named to her current position as Vice President, Worldwide Quality and Scientific Relations in 1999. Spence received her B.S. in chemical engineering from Clarkson University and her M.S. in chemical engineering from Manhattan College. She currently represents Kraft on the boards of the National Food Processors Association Research Foundation, International Life Sciences Institute and CERES-Center for Food & Nutrition Policy.
Baxter joined Kraft in 1989 after six years with Procter & Gamble. Following four years in progressively more responsible positions within Kraft Foods North America, Baxter was appointed Director, Basic Chocolate for Kraft Foods International in Europe in 1993. He became Director, Confectionery Technology in 1996, followed by his 1998 appointment as Vice President, Research and Development, European Confectionery and Food. Baxter received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Dayton.
Kraft Foods markets many of the world’s leading food brands, including Kraft cheese, Maxwell House and Jacobs coffees, Nabisco cookies and crackers, Philadelphia cream cheese, Oscar Mayer meats, Post cereals and Milka chocolates, in more than 140 countries.
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