Five Kraft Foods Inc executives received bonuses totaling more than $10 million at the end of 2003, at the same time as the Chicago IL area-based branded food and beverage giant planned the layoffs of thousands of employees.
According to Kraft’s annual proxy statement, a $3.7 million bonus was paid to Roger Deromedi, chief executive officer of the firm. Former co-CEO Betsy Holden, who was demoted to global marketing chief in December 2003, received $3.5 million. Other payments were $1.3 million for North American President David Johnson; $1.2 million for Franz-Josef Vogelsang, global supply chain executive vice-president; and $900,000 for international executive Hugh Roberts.
Kraft said in January 2003 that it would eliminate about 6,000 jobs and shut 20 plants to try to restore profitability.
Bonuses paid by Kraft were part of a three-year incentive plan covering 2001–03. The company said the plan intended to motivate executives to attain long-term financial and strategic objectives that positively impact stockholder returns.