Joao M. Castro-Neves has been elected to serve on the Kraft Heinz board of directors, effective June 12, 2019.
“We are thrilled to welcome Joao to the board, as he brings significant consumer sector expertise to Kraft Heinz,” Alex Behring, chairman of Kraft Heinz’s board of directors, said in a press release.
The board elected Castro-Neves because of his extensive experience in the consumer goods industry in his various positions with AB InBev.
Castro-Neves, age 52, served as chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch, AB InBev’s North American unit, and zone president, North America of AB InBev, from January 2015 until December 2017. Castro-Neves joined Companhia de Bebidas das Americas S.A. (“AMBEV”), a predecessor of AB InBev, in 1996 and served in positions of increasing responsibility, including chief financial officer from January 2005 until December 2006 and chief executive officer from January 2009 until December 2014. He has also served as chief executive officer of Quilmes Industrial S.A., a subsidiary of AMBEV based in Argentina, from January 2007 until December 2008.
Castro-Neves will not be the only leader at Kraft Heinz with a connection to InBev. Miguel Patricio, who will become the Kraft Heinz chief executive officer on July 1, was the InBev global chief marketing officer from 2012 to 2018. Patricio is set to succeed Bernardo Hees, who played a leadership role in the merger of Kraft Foods and the H.J. Heinz Company, as CEO. Patricio has also served in leadership roles with Philip Morris, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson.
With the election of Castro-Neves, the size of the Kraft Heinz board remains unchanged.
A diversified business, Kraft Heinz is the parent company of Oscar Mayer. It is the sixth largest turkey producer in the United States. According to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, the company slaughtered 332 million pounds of live turkeys in 2018.