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posted: 7/13/2011 9:33 AM

Kraft Europe executive resigns

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Michael A. Clarke, Executive Vice President of Kraft Foods and President, Kraft Foods Europe, is leaving the company in mid-August to take a senior executive position with a U.K.-based public company.

Kraft named Timothy P. Cofer, 42, to succeed Clarke. He will be based in Zurich, Switzerland.
"We sincerely thank Mike for his contributions to turning around our European business, which has now delivered five consecutive quarters of top- and bottom-line growth," Kraft Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld said. "It's disappointing to say good-bye to a talented colleague, but we respect Mike's decision, which will allow him to be closer to his family in the U.K. We wish him the very best."
"Fortunately, we have a strong bench, and Tim is a talented and highly successful leader who can quickly transition into this role," she added. "Tim has nearly 20 years with the company. He has experience in multiple categories and geographies, including intimate knowledge of our European and global chocolate businesses. I'm confident that Tim's expertise and leadership skills will enable him to seamlessly build on the great results that our European team has been delivering."
Cofer began his career with the company in 1992 and has progressed through a number of marketing, strategy and general management roles. Most recently, he has served as senior vice president, global chocolate category team. Prior to this, Cofer was senior vice president, strategy and integration, leading the global integration team following the acquisition of Cadbury in early 2010. Cofer was the architect of the company's European chocolate category model from 2003 to 2006.
His career has also included successful tenures with Oscar Mayer, and the company's U.S. pizza business, where he delivered significant revenue growth, margin expansion and consistent market share gains.
Cofer earned his MBA from the University of Minnesota and his bachelor's degree in economics and political science from St. Olaf College.