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Kraft boss Irene Rosenfeld in 41% pay hike

The US food giant boss behind the controversial hostile takeover of Cadbury received a 41 per cent hike in pay and bonuses last year, it emerged today.

Kraft chairman and chief executive Irene Rosenfeld saw her pay package jump to $26.3m (£17.4m) in 2009, compared to total compensation of $18.7m (£12.4m) in 2008, the company said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The firm said Ms Rosenfeld's leadership in pushing through the Cadbury takeover had been judged "exceptional" and had transformed Kraft's business.

Ms Rosenfeld's salary was virtually frozen at $1.5m (£993,000), but she also received stock awards of $7.8m (£5m), annual incentive awards of around four million dollars (£2.7m), about $1.9m (£1.3m) in option awards and $10.6m (£7m) in a non-equity incentive plan.

News of the increased payout comes a month after Kraft caused outrage by announcing job cuts and closures following up its £11.5bn Cadbury takeover.

Last month Kraft said that Cadbury's Somerdale factory near Bath would close despite earlier pledges to keep it open.

Hundreds of jobs are now set to go at the site after the US firm said it was "unrealistic" to reverse Cadbury's plans to close it.

It said Cadbury had already spent £100m on building new facilities in Poland and most production would be transferred by the middle of this year.

And this month Kraft further drew the fire of UK unions when it announced its first job cuts within weeks of the takeover.

Up to 150 jobs are threatened at Cadbury's offices in Uxbridge, west London, and Bournville in Birmingham as Kraft looks to cut out duplications in its newly enlarged operations.