Hefner named Kraft Heinz strategy, transformation officer

Dafne Hefner has been hired by the Kraft Heinz Company to fill the newly created role of chief strategy & transformation officer - North America zone.

Dafne Hefner (Courtesy Kraft Heinz Company)
Dafne Hefner (Courtesy Kraft Heinz Company)

The Kraft Heinz Company appointed Dafne Hefner to the newly created role of chief strategy & transformation officer - North America zone, effective January 18, 2022. Hefner is being hired to help accelerate the strategic growth plan in the company’s U.S. and Canada businesses, including the broader deployment of agile teams and a North America Zone digital agenda.

Kraft Heinz, present in many food industry sectors, is the sixth largest turkey company in the United States.

Hefner joins Kraft Heinz from Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (“AB InBev”), where she most recently served as senior vice president of strategy & insights. During her tenure, Hefner was a driving force behind establishing long-term company goals, creating a focused portfolio strategy, addressing brand renovation, and delivering an aggressive innovation agenda. As the architect of AB InBev’s first internal research and Agile agency, Hefner introduced new capabilities and an Agile approach to innovation that resulted in the company successfully rebalancing its brand portfolio and capturing the largest share of innovation in the industry. During her eight years with the company, she held various leadership positions in insights, marketing, and digital. Prior to AB InBev, Hefner spent more than eight years as a services and consumer products strategy consultant and co-founded a data analytics tech startup. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica and a master’s degree in Product Innovation & Business from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.

Hefner is a sought-after leader who is expected to bring the strategic planning, processes, and digital capabilities required to fully unleash Kraft Heinz’s scale + agility vision in its new North America Zone. Additionally, she will be responsible for leading an Agile Center of Excellence for the North America Zone, which will include dynamic resource allocation, prioritization of Agile team deployment across functions, and management of the Zone’s digital resources. She will serve as a key member of the North America Leadership Team and report directly to Carlos Abrams-Rivera, Executive Vice President & President, North America at Kraft Heinz.

“We are thrilled to have Dafne Hefner join Kraft Heinz as our Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer for our newly formed North America Zone,” said Abrams-Rivera. “Dafne brings a tremendous amount of leadership and experience to the critical areas we’ve been building since late 2020, including digital, innovation, and insights. Her proven ability to translate strategy into action, and effectively leverage Agile methodologies and teams at scale, will help us deliver a best-in-class innovation agenda, operations plan, and go-to-market approach.”

Since 2020, Kraft Heinz has taken multiple steps to transform its overall growth profile, strategic focus, and financial flexibility, including divesting certain assets in its global cheese and nuts businesses. The Company has also centered its business around a consumer-first approach, significantly investing in its portfolio, people, digital solutions, and customer relationships. Hefner is one of several senior leaders Kraft Heinz has brought on to its U.S. and Canada Leadership Teams in the last two years in an effort to add industry-leading expertise and new capabilities in critical areas such as commercialization, marketing, sales, insights, research & development, human resources, and communications.

In December 2021, the company announced its intention to create a North America Zone by combining its U.S. and Canada businesses, a move aimed at advancing the global food and beverage leader’s long-term, sustainable growth plans. The North America Zone will begin structural transitions in early 2022, with full organizational and financial reporting changes expected to take effect at the start of its second fiscal quarter this year.

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