It’s hello Irene as Kraft boss Rosenfeld decides to take over the Cadbury snacks business

Well this should be fun: Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld has decided to hitch her star to the new Cadbury-based snacks business when Kraft Foods splits into two companies next year. North American V-P Tony Vernon will boss the boring old cheese-based US grocery business.

You’d think that at her matronly age Irene would settle for a quiet life in Philadelphia but she’s clearly decided that snacks is where it’s at, reinforcing the belief that Kraft’s purchase of UK chocolate maker Cadbury for £12m a couple of years ago was one of the steals of the century.

At snacks – they haven’t decided what the business is to be called yet – Rosenfeld will be in charge of Cadbury, Tobler Suchard and Milka – three of the biggest brands in confectionery and a line-up to give the mighty Nestle pause. Kraft also owns Trident. The news will have various agencies looking nervously over their shoulders.

Kraft has been hiring agencies like there’s no tomorrow recently, giving Milka to Crispin Porter and wheeling in Droga5 to handle Athenos and big new dairy snack brand MilkBite as well as some Cadbury brands in Australia.

Saatchi & Saatchi and sister agency Fallon are in the driving seats on Cadbury at the moment but their stock has slipped somewhat since the great days of Fallon’s Cannes Grand Prix winner ‘Gorilla’ for Dairy Milk in 2008.

Who’s Irene’s favourite agency? It wouldn’t be a bearded Australian exile would it?

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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.