The Business On... Irene Rosenfeld, CEO, Kraft Foods
Friday 08 October 2010
Ah, the corporate raider.
Get over it. So Kraft wasn't a particularly popular buyer of Cadbury, but the deal was agreed by shareholders and Ms Rosenfeld is now in charge.
Fair enough, I suppose Kraft's victory was inevitable.
Indeed, Cadbury was always going to find it difficult to escape the clutches of the world's second most powerful woman, as Forbes magazine rated Ms Rosenfeld yesterday.
Apparently, someone called Michelle Obama wields marginally more power than the Kraft boss. Let's hope she doesn't take a fancy to Britain's national heritage too.
So how is Ms Rosenfeld getting on with her new toy?
A good time to ask – she made her first visit to the famous Bournville factory in Birmingham yesterday and conducted a Q&A with staff.
So all is sweetness and light?
Well the unions are a little affronted that she didn't make time specifically for them and there have been a few moans about her sneaking into Birmingham while most people were preoccupied by the Conservative Party conference. But the heat seems to have gone out of the argument.
At least she came.
Exactly. It's fair to say that MPs on the House of Commons business committee were less than impressed when she turned down an invite to attend their hearings on the Cadbury deal. This is the first chance most staff have had to meet the new boss.
So what is she like?
"Low-key" is the description that everyone seems to go for, though much more human than manybusiness leaders. Academically gifted, she stood out at Cornell University, her alma mata, but she was also a student basketball star until she broke her leg. These days she's more likely to be found on the tennis courts, or rollerblading.
The secret of her success?
A healthy intake of Kraft's products: she lists "Macaroni & Cheese" as her favourite and chews Trident gum.
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