April 22 (UPI) -- Kraft Heinz is replacing CEO Bernard Hees with former AB InBev executive Miguel Patricio, the company announced Monday.
Hees has headed Kraft for six years and oversaw the company as it merged with Heinz to become the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. He is expected to step down June 30 and Patricio will assume the role July 1.
Hees "helped transform the food industry by leading the acquisition of Heinz in 2013 and the merger of Kraft and Heinz in 2015," said Alex Behring, chairman of the company's board of directors.
"Under Bernardo's tenure, Kraft Heinz achieved industry-leading margins and sales performance in line with its U.S. peers, developed an organization with best-in-industry quality standards, and built in-house capabilities for category management, including revenue and assortment management."
Prior to joining Kraft Heinz, Patricio served as global chief marketing officer at AB InBev from 2012 to 2018. He was with the company for two decades, holding a variety of positions.
Marcel Herrmann Telles, a member of Kraft Heinz's board, called Patricio "a natural business leader."
"From attracting and nurturing the best talent to leading the turnaround of the AB InBev China business into the phenomenal success it is today, Miguel has one of the best brand-building minds in the industry."
Shares of Kraft Heinz were up 0.35 percent midday Monday compared to Friday's close.