BURGER King Worldwide Inc. has announced "an evolution of its senior management team," reporting that chief executive officer Bernardo Hees and chief financial officer Daniel Schwartz will assume new roles within the company.
Burger King is the second-largest quick-service restaurant system by number of restaurants and the third-largest system by sales. Hees and Schwartz have led the company since it was acquired by 3G Capital in 2010 (Feedstuffs, Oct. 25, 2010).
Hees will continue to serve as CEO until the completion of the acquisition of H.J. Heinz Co. or July 1, whichever comes first, according to the announcement. At that time, he will become vice chair of the board of directors of Burger King, and upon the completion of the Heinz acquisition, he will become CEO of Heinz.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G proposed to acquire Heinz in February for $72.50 per share in a deal valued at $28 billion, including an assumption of Heinz debt, with 3G being the majority owner.
The acquisition has cleared antitrust review in the U.S. and other countries, and Heinz shareholders are scheduled to vote on the proposal on April 30. The acquisition is expected to close late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter of this year.
At Heinz, Hees will succeed chair, CEO and president Bill Johnson.
Prior to joining Burger King, Hees was CEO of America Latina Logistica, the largest railroad in Latin America, and was recruited to Burger King by 3G, a Brazilian equity investment firm.
After Hees becomes Burger King vice chair and Heinz CEO, Schwartz will succeed him as CEO of Burger King, the announcement said.
As a managing partner at 3G, Schwartz led the firm's acquisition of Burger King, and he was largely responsible for Burger King's aggressive growth in emerging markets, restaurant reimaging in North America and the company's return to the New York Stock Exchange last year (Feedstuffs, July 2, 2012).
Joshua Kobza, who has been senior vice president for global finance at Burger King, will become CFO.
Burger King, headquartered in Miami, Fla., was founded in 1954 as a single restaurant and today operates almost 13,000 restaurants in 86 countries that serve 11 million customers per day. It had fiscal 2013 sales of $1.169 billion.
Heinz, headquartered in Pittsburg, Pa., manufactures and markets the iconic Heinz ketchup and Heinz brand sauces, soups, beans and pasta, as well as Ore-Ida potato products, Weight Watchers Smart Ones entrées, T.G.I. Friday's snacks and Plasmon infant formula. It had fiscal 2012 sales that totaled $11.6 billion.