Cadbury purchase pays off for Kraft – but how will it manage without Phil Rumbol?

Food giant Kraft increased its second quarter revenues by a thumping 25 per cent to $12.3bn, largely accounted for the the controversial purchase of UK chocolate maker Cadbury.

Cadbury contributed 90 per cent of its sales uplift in Europe and helped its sluggish US revenues grow by 6.3 per cent (they would have fallen by 1.9 per cent without Dairy Milk and other brands). Profits rose from $827m to $937m.

So Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld can feel well and truly vindicated for her decision to pay $18.9bn (£11.5bn) for Cadbury despite some shareholders, including legendary investor Warren Buffett, claiming she had paid too much.

Kraft is also claiming the integration of Cadbury management is working well, with roughly a third of its top 50 execs now ex-Cadbury.

These don’t include marketing director Phil Rumbol who declined a pan-European marketing job in Zurich. Rumbol, who Sir Frank Lowe says is the best marketing director around, helped to produce the famous ‘Gorilla’ ad for Dairy Milk. His final opus is the spots and stripes fishy extravaganza for Cadbury’s 2012 Olympic sponsorship.

When he left recently Rumbol said he wanted to try “something different’ after a longish marketing career including stints at Inbev (Stella Artois) and before that Kraft.

Will he ship up in an agency? He’d be quite a catch for the likes of Sir Martin Sorrell at WPP although marketing supremos don’t always find the transition an easy one.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.