Kraft Foods has elected Jan Bennink to its Board of Directors. This increases the company's board from nine to 10 directors, five of whom are not employees of either Kraft or Altria Group.
Bennink is CEO and chairman of the executive board of Royal Numico, a market leader in infant and clinical nutrition. He previously served as senior vice president of dairy for Group Danone.
"I am delighted to welcome Jan Bennink to our board of directors," said Kraft chairman Louis C. Camilleri. "With his extensive global consumer products experience, I know that he will make significant contributions to Kraft."
Paul James has resigned as senior vice president of commercial operations at Biacore International, the food analysis giant. The group has initiated the search for a new senior vice president of commercial operations, a position that combines global responsibility for sales, product management and marketing.
Until a new appointment is made, Erik Walldén, Biacore's president and CEO, will assume direct responsibility of all of the company's commercial operations.
Ruth Mack is the new vice president of Alcoa and group president of packaging and consumer products. She succeeds William Leahey who recently retired.
In her new position, Mack assumes accountability for all of Alcoa's packaging businesses - consumer, flexible, food service and protective packaging. Alcoa's packaging and consumer products group has a turnover of $3.2 billion.
Mack had been president of Alcoa consumer products, the Alcoa business responsible for brands such as Reynolds Wrap aluminium foil, Reynolds plastics wrap and BacoFoil in the UK. Her successor has not yet been named.
One interesting potential appointment is the nomination of Nebraska governor Mike Johanns to become the next US Secretary of Agriculture, a move that has been welcomed by some in the US beef processing industry.
"We're optimistic that he'll listen to the industry when producers express concerns about such important issues as trade agreements, the Canadian border situation, Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling, and other matters, as well as maintaining the separate identity and the health of the US cattle herd," said Leo McDonnell president of Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF), which represents thousands of US cattle producers.
And finally, Anglo-Dutch consumer products group Unilever is considering changing its top management to include one chief executive representing both the British and Dutch arms instead of the current two.
Dutch business daily Het Financieele Dagblad, citing sources close to the group, said there was an "internal debate" underway about simplifying the management structure.
But the report said there was no talk of merging Unilever's two parent companies.
Media speculation that Unilever could merge its parent holdings arose when oil major Royal Dutch/Shell Group announced plans on October 28 to move to a unified corporate structure, ditching its dual-ownership system.
Unilever Plc and Unilever NV are stand-alone companies with separate listings, headquarters and CEOs. The British arm is headed by Patrick Cescau and the Dutch arm by Antony Burgmans.