Anthony Vernon Leaving Ripplewood Kraft Foods

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Kraft Foods Inc (KFT.N) said on Monday that W. Anthony Vernon will become president of Kraft Foods North America in mid-August, taking over for Rick Searer, who is retiring.

Kraft said Vernon, 53, worked most recently as a healthcare industry partner at private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings. Previously, he worked at Johnson & Johnson, where Kraft said he led many of that company’s largest consumer brands, including Tylenol and Pepcid AC.

“Tony has an impressive history of building and sustaining iconic consumer brands. His strong track record of growth through consumer-driven innovation, world-class marketing and strong retail relationships will help to further accelerate our business performance,” Kraft Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld said in a statement.

Kraft said Searer will retire at the end of September after working at the food company for nearly 30 years.

(Reporting by Nicole Maestri; Editing by Richard Chang)