The three top bosses at Cadbury have announced they will all quit the Birmingham-based chocolate maker following its hostile acquisition by Kraft – the deal having been accepted by shareholders on Tuesday.
Chairman Roger Carr, chief executive Todd Stitzer and chief finance director Andrew Bonfield will all leave the company now that US food conglomerate Kraft has won the battle to buy the Dairy Milk maker in an £11.5bn deal.
Stitzer had fronted Cadbury’s defence against the takeover and was clearly emotional when he accepted the battle was lost in an email to Cadbury employees immediately after the bid was accepted by the board. “I cannot pretend that I don’t feel an immense personal sadness that Cadbury will no longer be a standalone confectionery company,” he said. “For my part, I’ve been blown away by the courage and commitment you have shown… We’ve been an unbelievable team… We fought a great fight – and whilst we didn’t win independence, we did prove once and for all that we are a world-class business.”
Stitzer has been chief executive of Cadbury since 2003 but his total career with the company spans 27 years.
Today he said: “I will now be taking some time out with my family to consider my future options, but you can be sure my heart will always be a deep Cadbury purple.”
Both he and Carr wished Kraft chief Irene Rosenfold good luck for the future. No announcement has been made on when the three will leave.