PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 14, 2003--The H. J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ) today announced plans to make a number of changes in its U.S. business structure as part of the company's transformation of its North America operations into a more effective, efficient and customer-focused operation following the recently completed transaction with Del Monte. (See news release for December 20, 2002.)
"The reorganizing of our U.S. businesses is the next natural step in the transformation begun by the Heinz/Del Monte transaction," said William R. Johnson, Heinz Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We now have an opportunity to drive as much accountability and decision-making as possible into reorganized business units that are better positioned to meet the needs of our customers and consumers."
Specifically, Heinz is in the process of reorganizing its U.S. operations into two Business Units - Heinz U.S. "Away from Home" (focused on Heinz's restaurant and on-the-go eating businesses) and Heinz U.S. "Consumer Products" (centered on the company's retail businesses in Ketchup, Condiments & Sauces and Frozen Meals & Snacks). These two Business Units will have full responsibility for all related business functions, including marketing, sales, finance and the supply chain.
Jeff Berger has been appointed to lead Heinz "Away from Home" as President of the Business Unit. Dave Moran has been appointed President of Heinz "Consumer Products." Mr. Moran had previously been President of Heinz Sales Company.
Messrs. Berger and Moran will report to Neil Harrison, Executive Vice President and President and CEO of Heinz North America. Jim Krushelniski will continue to be President of Heinz Canada, reporting to Mr. Harrison. The structural changes announced today will not affect Heinz Canada.
Casey Keller has been appointed to the position of Chief Growth Officer, with responsibility for identifying new global growth initiatives and for prioritizing the company's best short-term and long-term product opportunities. Mr. Keller will assume his new position after having achieved significant growth in sales and market share for Heinz(R) Ketchup as Managing Director of the U.S. Ketchup, Condiments & Sauces category. He will report to a new global Operating Council, comprising Mr. Johnson and Heinz's four Regional Presidents around the world.
"This reorganization has been designed to help move Heinz toward its stated goal of becoming a more focused company," Mr. Johnson concluded. "We will continue to work on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of our U.S. operations at every level as we strive to deliver consistent performance and improved shareholder value."
As part of its ongoing efforts to improve efficiency, the company is continuing its SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) reduction program first announced in February 2002. The company has a global target of 30% SKU reduction by the end of Fiscal 2004 and has challenged its employees to work towards a stretch goal of a 40% reduction, with particular emphasis on Europe.
SAFE HARBOR PROVISIONS FOR FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements reflect management's view of future events and financial performance. These statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors, many of which may be beyond the Heinz's control and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. Uncertainties contained in such statements include, but are not limited to, the risk of the divestiture and spin-off transaction and its impact on the operations and financial performance of Heinz and the ability of Heinz to achieve its growth and other business goals. Other uncertainties include sales, earnings and volume growth, achieving cost savings programs, competitive conditions, production, energy, and raw material costs, the ability to maintain favorable supplier relationships, global economic and industry conditions, new product and packaging innovations, achievement of gross margins, success of marketing spending, currency valuations and fluctuations in these rates, the impact of e-commerce and e-procurement, supply chain efficiency and cash flow initiatives, unforeseen economic and political changes in international markets where Heinz competes and over which Heinz has no control, the ability to integrate acquisitions and joint ventures into existing operations and success of divestitures and business combinations, and other factors described in Heinz's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended May 1, 2002, as updated from time to time by Heinz in its subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Future dividends on Heinz stock at any level are subject, among other things, to certain legal requirements being met at the time of declaration. The forward-looking statements are and will be based on management's then current views and assumptions regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of their dates. Heinz undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
ABOUT HEINZ: H. J. Heinz Company is one of the world's leading processors and marketers of high-quality ketchup, condiments, sauces, meals, soups, snacks and infant foods through all retail and foodservice channels. A host of favorite brands, such as Heinz(R) ketchup, Ore-Ida(R) french fries, Boston Market(R) and Smart Ones(R) meals and Plasmon(R) baby food are the growth drivers in Heinz's two strategic global segments: Meal Enhancers and Meals & Snacks. Heinz's 50 companies have number-one or number-two brands in 200 countries, showcased by the Heinz(R) brand, a global consumer icon with $2.5 billion in annual sales. Fourteen additional brands, each with more than $100 million in annual sales, generate a further $2.6 billion. Information on Heinz is available at www.heinz.com/news.