Kraft Heinz Australia has confirmed Simon Laroche as its new CEO. He is charged with growing the business, strengthening relationships with retailers and supply chain partners as well as extending the company’s local product innovation.
Laroche has in-depth experience in the FMCG sector, with successful senior roles at Canada’s largest brewery company, Labatt Breweries. Most recently, he was Vice President of Sales, where he managed 1,000 employees across sales and marketing teams. His areas of responsibility spanned international operations and partnerships, including within the Australian market.
“I am delighted to join the team at Kraft Heinz Australia and lead the company into its next phase of growth,” said Laroche. “It’s an exciting, fast-moving business, boasting iconic brands which Aussies love. Brands which are rich in heritage with products that bring great innovation to their categories.
“Most importantly, what sets Kraft Heinz apart is its people. The business has an outstanding team – all true talents in their fields, bringing energy, passion and creativity to their work each day.”
Since Kraft and Heinz merged in 2015, Kraft Heinz Australia has expanded and now employs more than 900 people across operations, production, sales and marketing. In the past 12 months, the company has also added a number of brands to its portfolio including Gravox, Fountain and SAXA following the acquisition of Cerebos in 2018.
Laroche further commented: “Even though Kraft Heinz is a large global company, the business strategy and operations here in Australia are very localised, from product development and innovation to partnerships. This uniqueness means that most products have been carefully created to meet the needs of Australian palates.
“My immediate focus areas are accelerating the company’s success and growth path through brand investment and innovation. Our new product development is centred on meeting emerging food trends – from the growing demand for plant-based products and multisensory food experiences to snacks that support healthy lifestyles. We have a number of exciting new products in the pipeline,” added Laroche.
Development of the company’s people is also a key priority for Laroche. The business is renowned for giving people every opportunity to succeed and grow at the pace of their talent.
Kraft Heinz in Australia has been recognised as one of the country’s leading employers, recently named in The AFR’s Top 100 Graduate Employers 2019 List.