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Kraft Heinz replaces CEO with AB InBev's former marketing chief

Boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner are seen in a pop-up store of Kraft Heinz
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Kraft Heinz will replace CEO Bernardo Hees, who has led the company since its creation in a 2015 merger of Kraft and Heinz that was arranged by Warren Buffett and private equity firm 3G Capital, with AB InBev's former chief marketing officer Miguel Patricio, effective July 1.

Why it matters: It's the most significant leadership change since the merger, and it comes at a crucial time. Kraft Heinz has been struggling in recent years, with a failed bid for Unilever, stagnant sales, a $15.4 billion writedown of key brands and an SEC investigation into accounting practices.

Between the lines: With Hees' departure, as CNBC points out, "one of the companies most closely associated with 3G Capital will no longer be run by a 3G partner." The founders of 3G Capital, which owns 22% of Kraft Heinz, are among the biggest shareholders of AB InBev, Bloomberg reports.

Go deeper: How Unilever dodged a bullet