Rebecca Dee-Bradbury, the head of Vegemite and Cadbury chocolate manufacturer Mondelez International, will be stepping down in March after four years of being chief.
According to a report on The Australian, a spokesman for Mondelez International (formerly Kraft Foods) confirmed on Monday that Ms Dee-Bradbury will be replaced by Mr Jay Cooper, formerly head of the Oreo biscuit business. Ms Dee-Bradbury will be leaving her post on March 7 to focus on Asia projects.
Ms Dee-Bradbury was named by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard as one of three industry members on the government’s strategic advisory board on Australia in the Asian Century in April last year.
The Mondelez chief is known for supporting more focused policy and long-term investment in the food and agribusiness industry in order to capitalise on the surging food demand from Asia.
“We need to prioritise sectors that develop sustained competitive advantage in Asia including food, healthcare, education, mining and the finance and service sectors,” she said in an interview with The Australian last year.
Ms Dee-Bradbury has held senior positions in other major companies including McDonalds, Lion Nathan and Barbeques Galore. She guided Kraft’s Australian division through the 2010 takeover of Cadbury, and also supervised the establishment of Australia’s largest food research and development facility.
Meanwhile, Mr Cooper’s previous roles included senior vice president and general manager of Kraft’s biscuit division in New York. Before joining the company he was vice president of marketing at American confectionery Hershey for four years, and also worked for Nabisco before that.
Over the past two months Mr Cooper and Ms Dee-Bradbury had been working together to ensure a smooth transition of leadership in the company. Mondelez International employs 3000 staff across five manufacturing sites in Australia. During the September federal elections Tony Abbott has committed $16 million in public funds to help Cadbury upgrade its factory in Tasmania.