The Hustle

One of the food industry’s titans is hanging up her Oreo-encrusted crown

Irene Rosenfeld will be stepping down this week as CEO of Mondelez Foods. You probably haven’t heard her name before, but you’ve certainly enjoyed the snacks her company’s produced over the years: Oreos, Wheat Thins, and Ritz crackers. Rosenfeld is...


December 4, 2017

Irene Rosenfeld will be stepping down this week as CEO of Mondelez Foods.

You probably haven’t heard her name before, but you’ve certainly enjoyed the snacks her company’s produced over the years: Oreos, Wheat Thins, and Ritz crackers.

Rosenfeld is one of the big dogs of the processed food business — and her departure is yet another sign that junk food’s in the tank as Americans shift toward more health-conscious options.

Who is she?

Over the course of a 36-year run in the “big food” industry, Rosenfeld established herself as one of the most powerful women in business.

After a brief stint as the CEO of Frito-Lay, she became CEO of Kraft Foods in 2006. Four years later, she led a hostile takeover of British chocolate company Cadbury, then, in 2012, restructured Kraft into the internationally-focused Mondelez International.

Over the course of her career, she raked in $231m and mentored a number of other high-profile CEOs, including the chiefs at Campbell’s Soup, Hershey, and PF Chang’s.

What’s her departure mean?

It’s a signifier that we’re slowly shifting our dietary habits toward more health-conscious options.

Numerous studies and surveys show that American’s are seeking out healthier foods and are willing to pay more for them.

Mondelez spent more than a decade peddling cookies and chips, but with chia seeds becoming the new after-school snack for a generation, her sayonara is just another sign of the changing times.

But, hey, you can’t say she didn’t have a good run.

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