Ms. Ford's departure, scheduled for January, marks the fumbling food behemoth's continued efforts to fine tune its ranks and turn the bureaucratic boat around. In September, new Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld acknowledged the company was paralyzed by centralized decision-making and vowed to give more power back to individual business teams, naming a new executive team that excluded players, including longtime Exec VP-Global Marketing and Resources Paula Sneed, and creating the company's first chief marketing officer role. That new CMO, Jeri Finard, has since been rethinking how to handle the company's marketing services functions, and Ms. Ford is among the first whose position is no longer required.
Sea change for marketer
The move, according to one executive close to Kraft, signifies the sea change afoot, where "once creativity, innovation and big ideas were thought to come from developing complex processes and now they realize it is in fact the opposite."
Although there have been "lots and lots of changes, endless change right down to the brand level," according to another executive with knowledge of Kraft, Ms. Finard is still in the midst of creating her team. A search is currently under way for a new global head of integrated marketing and communications, a role that ostensibly eliminates the old-school differentiation Kraft has had between advertising and marketing, and for a new head of global innovation, a role vacated in recent weeks by longtime Kraft exec Mary Kay Haben.
Ms. Haben, along with Ms. Ford and Ms. Sneed, were all closely tied to former CEO Betsy Holden.
A Kraft spokesman did not return calls by press time. Ms. Ford could not be reached for comment.