Kraft Foods Celebrates First Day as Fully Independent Company
-Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT), today joined with 11 Kraft employees from around the world to ring The Opening Bell(sm) at the New York Stock Exchange to mark the food and beverage company’s first day of trading as a fully independent company. Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) completed the spin-off of Kraft on March 30, distributing the approximately 88.9% of outstanding Kraft shares it owned to Altria’s shareholders.
With the spin-off, Kraft welcomed an additional 800,000 shareholders and celebrated its new listing on Standard and Poor’s S&P 100 and S&P 500 indices. As previously announced, Rosenfeld has assumed the additional post of Chairman, replacing Louis Camilleri, who will continue to serve on the Kraft Board.
“Our Board, executive team and 90,000 employees are energized and eager to write this next chapter in Kraft’s history,” said Rosenfeld. “As a fully independent company, we’ll have more opportunity to fulfill the potential of our great brands and great company. We’re confident we have the right plans in place to deliver attractive returns to our shareholders.”
In addition, effective March 30, Mary Schapiro, Chairman and CEO of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., has been appointed Lead Director. The Lead Director will serve as a liaison between the Chairman and non-employee directors, provide input on Board meeting schedules and content, and preside at executive sessions of the non-management directors.
“I’m delighted to be in this new role, working alongside Irene and the other Directors to help accelerate Kraft’s growth over the long-term, while faithfully representing the interests of our investors,” said Schapiro, who also serves as Chair of the Board’s Nominating and Governance Committee.
Another change to Kraft’s Corporate Governance Guidelines, effective immediately, is the addition of a requirement that at least 75% of Directors be “independent” as defined by the NYSE’s listing standards. The Board currently has eight Directors, six of whom are not employees of either Kraft or Altria Group. As previously announced, Mark Ketchum is nominated for election to the Board at Kraft’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders on April 24, 2007, bringing the total to nine Directors going forward.
Kraft’s Board also adopted a majority voting policy, which applies to uncontested Director elections. This policy will take effect after Kraft’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
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