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Kraft Taps Ingersoll-Rand CFO to Replace Dollive

Food-products giant names Timothy McLevish, effective Oct. 1.
Stephen TaubAugust 29, 2007

Kraft Foods Inc. announced that CFO James Dollive will retire after 29 years with the company, and named Ingersoll-Rand Co. senior vice president and CFO Timothy McLevish to succeed him effective October 1.

McLevish has held his post at Ingersoll-Rand, with headquarters in Hamilton, Bermuda, since 2002. That diversified industrial firm, which provides products and services to industries from transport to building security, said it expected to announce a successor prior to his departure.

At Northfield, Illinois-based food-products giant Kraft, McLevish will be responsible for financial operations including accounting and reporting, financial planning and analysis, treasury, tax, audit, and investor relations. Irene Rosenfeld, Kraft chairman and CEO, said McLevish combines a finance and accounting background with experience in public-company governance and line management, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to joining Ingersoll-Rand, McLevish rose through a number of jobs at Mead Corp. to become CFO in 1999. While at Mead, he also filled several general management positions, including president and general manager of Mead’s Specialty Paper Division.

Said Rosenfeld of James Dollive: “Jim’s financial expertise and exceptional standards of ethics and integrity have earned him the respect of both his Kraft colleagues and the financial community. Over the course of Jim’s career, he has helped Kraft achieve many significant milestones, including our initial public offering in 2001 and our recent transition to a fully independent company.”

Indeed, this has been a busy year for Dollive and Kraft, which in April completed its spinoff from former parent Altria Group. It subsequently announced that it will buy some biscuit and cereal-products businesses of Groupe Danone SA for $7.2 billion, amid an industry-wide M&A boom.

In a conference call with investors earlier this year, Rosenfeld said divestitures are in the future. “We continue to evaluate our existing brands in the context of our new framework,” she said, according ro Reuters, “and we’ll divest those businesses that don’t fit our long-term growth plan.”

Earlier this month, during a conference call to discuss second-quarter earnings, the Wall Street Journal reported, Kraft said it may sell its Post cereal unit, which the paper estimated could fetch about $3 billion. Also earlier this month, Kraft sold $3.5 billion of debt in a five-part offering.