Kraft Foods Incorporated’s Chief Executive Officer, Irene Rosenfeld and Cadbury Plc CEO, Todd Stitzer, disagree on the merits of merging their companies. They will both need to prove themselves if the deal falls through.
According to Bloomberg, Rosenfeld is in her fifth month of pursuing a £10.9bn ($17bn) takeover offer, which Cadbury has rejected as ”derisory.” Stitzer has predicted increased growth as an independent company. Rosenfeld says Kraft can achieve ”top-tier” performance regardless of the outcome.
”If this Cadbury deal does not happen, I think she‘s certainly lost some credibility,” Christopher Growe, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Company in St. Louis, said in a telephone interview.
“She is going to be held to a very high standard.” Reputations are at stake for the CEOs, Americans who are a year apart in age and have more than 50 years of combined experience in the food and beverage industry. Last week, Kraft shareholder Warren Buffett said Rosenfeld, 56, would not get a ”blank check” for a bid and asked investors to oppose a plan to issue as many as 370 million shares.
Stitzer, 57, has seen Cadbury stock surge to a high of 814 pence on Kraft‘s proposal. “Leadership is probably more difficult than it‘s ever been,” said Kevin Kelly, CEO of Heidrick & Struggles International Incorporated, a Chicago-based executive search firm.
“When something distracts from managing and engaging with your employees and clients, it is tough.