The Business On...Todd Stitzer, former chief executive, Cadbury
Thursday 09 June 2011
The man who sold us out?
Enough already with the complaining about that Kraft deal. Mr Stitzer and his board may indeed have sold the UK's national chocolate to the Americans, but he got shareholders a tasty price.
So what's he up to, post-Cadbury?
He's been biding his time with a bit of work for a New York investment advisory firm but he could be about to make a big comeback to the world of chocolate. He is up for the job of chief executive of Hershey.
The US national chocolate?
The very same, maker of Reece's Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey's Kisses. It is a company he knows well. The two sides talked about Hershey making a "white knight" bid for Cadbury as an alternative to the Kraft deal. Hershey also distributed Creme Eggs and Cadbury chocolate bars in the US.
Mr Stitzer is an American, right?
Born and raised in the North-east, though he became a naturalised Brit on reaching the boardroom at Cadbury. He almost became a professional tennis player, but chose law instead. The firm he worked for had Cadbury as a client, and they tempted him to come in-house in 1983.
A Cadbury lifer
In total, 27 years at the firm. He always said he got the culture of the firm, because as a regular churchgoer he could identify with its Quaker roots. And he really, really likes Crunchies.
What's his favourite Hershey brand?
No word yet, though no doubt he will be singing its praises should he land a job in the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania.
What are his chances?
The wispa – sorry, the whisper – is that he is not the frontrunner. John Bilbrey, the chief operating officer, has been serving as interim chief executive since his predecessor walked out to join Del Monte Foods, and could well keep the job. In that case, Mr Stitzer could come on as a board member and "mentor". Either way, it seems Mr Stitzer can't get enough of chocolate.
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