Birmingham & Black Country

Senior staff quit Cadbury after Kraft takeover

More than 100 senior staff from Cadbury have left since the firm was taken over by Kraft in February, it has emerged.

The US firm said 120 out of 165 senior staff from Cadbury, whose jobs were under consultation at Bournville and Uxbridge, have now left.

However, a spokesman said that amount of movement was not unusual and was commonly part of the integration process when two companies merged.

Kraft was criticised by MPs in April for the way it handled the takeover.

'History and tradition'

John Bradley, who used to run the Cadbury World tourist attraction, said managers were leaving in large numbers because Kraft do not value the brand's heritage.

Mr Bradley, who worked for Cadbury for 24 years before leaving the company in 2004, said: "Kraft seem not to care one iota about the history and tradition of Cadbury.

"They think they have just bought a series of brand names that they are going to integrate in their business just like they did Ritz Crackers and Toblerones and the other things that they bought.

"So, to my mind, they seem to not understand what they have bought."

Kraft said that its UK offices would be consolidated into existing offices at Bournville and Uxbridge.

It also said that former executives at Cadbury had taken one third of Kraft's top 50 positions across the company.

The remaining 45 employees, out of the 165 under consultation, had been given permanent roles in the organisation, the firm added.

"While this is a period of uncertainty for both Cadbury and Kraft Foods colleagues, we pride ourselves on being as sensitive and respectful as possible," a spokesman said.

Irene Rosenfeld, chief executive of Kraft, is planning her first visit to the Bournville plant, in Birmingham, later this year.

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