Kraft CEO In Hospital

Mar 31, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Kraft Foods’ chief executive, Roger Deromedi, has been admitted to a hospital with an undiagnosed medical condition, prompting the company’s chairman, Louis Camilleri, to take
over his duties on a temporary basis.

In addition to being Kraft’s chairman, Mr. Camilleri is also chairman and ceo of Altria Group.

Mr. Camilleri said in a released statement, “I am in contact with Roger and Sandy (Mr. Deromedi’s wife) and I have conveyed to them our strong support and good wishes. Pending
Roger’s return, his direct reports will report to me.”

“This must be something serious, especially if the people reporting to Roger are now reporting to Louis,” A.G. Edwards & Sons’ analyst Christopher Growe told Reuters.

David Nelson, a food industry analyst for Credit Suisse First Boston, said, “This is the last thing Kraft needs at this time. Kraft needs renewed energy, direction and innovation,
and his illness complicates the Kraft turnaround. Kraft needs a rudder in the storm it is going through.”

Moderator’s Comment: Will Roger Deromedi’s medical situation jeopardize Kraft’s turnaround plan?

Mr. Deromedi would be the first to tell you that Kraft Foods has some very impressive talent on board. Forget the knee jerk reactions from analysts. Kraft
Foods will be fine. Our prayers go out to Mr. Deromedi and we wish him a speedy recovery.
Anderson – Moderator

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