Heinz revamps its structure

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H.J. Heinz Co., Pittsburgh, named Hunt-Wesson/Peter Pan Foods Co. President Joe Jiminez to be president of Heinz North America, a vacant post. The appointment is part of series of personnel and marketing initiatives to help Heinz compete in a consolidating retail marketplace.

Mr. Jiminez will report to William Springer, a Heinz Co. exec VP named president of a major new umbrella organization, Heinz North America Dry Grocery & Foodservice, which will include Heinz USA, Heinz Canada, Starkist Seafood, Heinz Pet Products and Weight Watchers International. Peter Bowen, formerly president, retail products group, Heinz USA, moves to president-CEO Heinz Pet Products, succeeding Mike Milone, who takes a new post in worldwide category management. Mr. Milone's new title could not immediately be learned. Mr. Bowen's former post was abolished.

Dan O'Neill was named exec VP-North American sales, a new post designed to consolidate all Heinz's broker sales organizations, from exec VP-Starkist Seafoods and Heinz Pet products. "The consolidation of functions across Heinz's North American affiliates is a logical response to growing retailer consolidation and the imperative to be faster to market and more responsive to customers and consumers' needs," said William Johnson, president-CEO of Heinz.

At the same time, Heinz officially announced the creation of the Heinz Frozen Food unit, combining Ore-Ida and Weight Watchers Gourmet Food Co. into a single division with $1 billion in sales. Neil Harrison, president-CEO, Heinz Frozen Food, said, "This will enhance our category management approach to marketing and provide faster product development." The new products, Heinz said, include a microwaveable whipped potato line under the Ore-Ida brand. That comes as Heinz discontinues several unnamed "non-strategic frozen foods businesses."

Copyright November 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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