Irene Rosenfeld: Setting New Directions for Kraft Foods

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : LDEN079 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Leadership / Strategic Leadership / Corporate Strategy

Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2006-2011
Pub Date : 2012
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Kraft Foods Inc.
Industry : Food; Consumer packaged goods
Countries : Global


The case study discusses how Irene B. Rosenfeld (Rosenfeld), CEO of US-based snack-food company Kraft Foods Inc. (Kraft), turned around and transformed Kraft into a global consumer food behemoth. Since taking up the position of CEO in 2006, Rosenfeld had fundamentally changed the footprint and prospects of Kraft. She repositioned the company to deliver top tier growth by revamping some iconic brands, transforming the product portfolio, and consolidating the company's presence in developing markets. In February 2010, Rosenfeld successfully led the Cadbury acquisition to make Kraft a market leader in the global confectionery market. A 29-year veteran of the food industry, Rosenfeld was successful in bringing about a transformational change at Kraft.

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Under her strategic leadership, Kraft emerged as the second largest food company in the world with its products being sold in more than 160 countries. As a next step in the company's evolution, Rosenfeld intended to split Kraft into two independent public companies, a high margin North American Grocery business and a high growth Global Snacks business. She contended that the split would help Kraft in consolidating its position in the fast growing snacks category and also offer the company's shareholders two different investment opportunities. Analysts' reactions to this decision were mixed. This case can be used in Organizational Behavior/ General Management/ Strategic Management curriculum.


  • Study the leadership and management style of Rosenfeld.
  • Evaluate the strategies adopted by Rosenfeld in turning around Kraft.
  • Examine the role played by Rosenfeld in the Cadbury takeover.
  • Understand the role of a leader in changing the fortunes of a company.
  • Study the personal characteristics and traits of Rosenfeld that contributed to her success.
  • Discuss and debate Rosenfeld’s decision to split Kraft into two independent companies.
  • Explore the implementation issues going forward.
  • Contents:

      Page No.
    Introduction 1
    Early Years 2
    Turning Around Kraft 3
    Cadbury Takeover 5
    Strategic Leadership 6
    Two Way Traffic Ahead? 7
    Exhibits 9


    Leadership, Strategic leadership, Corporate strategy, Turnaround management, Organizing for Growth model, Growth diamond, Acquisition, Hostile takeover, Servant leadership, Transformation, Implementation, Change management, Value creation, Value destruction, Splitting company into independent companies, Kraft Foods, Irene Rosenfeld, Most Powerful Women, Consumer packaged goods

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