Marc S. Firestone, 52, executive vice President, corporate and legal affairs, and general counsel, will leave Kraft after nine years to rejoin Philip Morris International in Lausanne, Switzerland.
His replacement Pleuhs currently serves as senior vice president and deputy general counsel for Kraft.
Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld said: "Gerd has more than 25 years of corporate law experience. I'm confident that his intimate knowledge of our company will enable him to seamlessly step into the General Counsel role."
Pleuhs will lead the legal function for the global snacks company when it launches later this year, while Kraft will search for candidates to lead the North American grocery legal team, originally intended for Firestone.