Food Service & Agriculture, Human Resources, and Manufacturing

Kellogg appoints CFO

May 2, 2019
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Amit Banati
Amit Banati. Courtesy Kellogg Company

Kellogg Company has named a new chief financial officer who will start in the role after the second quarter.

The Battle Creek-based food maker’s current CFO Fareed Khan will leave the company July 1 and be succeed by Amit Banati, who is president of Kellogg’s Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East region, or AMEA, according to Kellogg today.

Banati and Khan will work together throughout the transition.

“We thank Fareed for his valued contributions during a period of major change at Kellogg Company,” said Steve Cahillane, chair and CEO, Kellogg Company. “He has been a trusted partner in creating and implementing our Deploy For Growth strategy, aimed at returning the company to sustainable, profitable growth. We wish him the very best in his next endeavors.”

Cahillane added the company is pleased to elevate Banati to the role.

“With his strategic vision, operational discipline and financial acumen, Amit has been a driving force behind the transformation of our business in AMEA,” Cahillane said. “This region is on a path to more than double in size, in both net sales and operating profit, since Amit became its president, and it has demonstrated the kind of balanced top-line and bottom-line growth we strive for as a company.”

Cahillane said he expects “a very smooth transition,” as Banati has been a member of the company’s executive committee for seven years and Khan will be on board to ease the transition.

Banati’s background

Banati joined Kellogg in March 2012 as president of Asia Pacific, and his responsibilities expanded into the broader AMEA region in July 2018.

Under his leadership, AMEA has “stabilized developed markets” and “expanded Kellogg’s portfolio and presence in emerging markets.”

Prior to Kellogg, he began his career in finance at Procter & Gamble, before moving to Cadbury Schweppes, where he was CFO of Cadbury Schweppes Asia Pacific.

He has also served in a variety of general management roles at Cadbury Schweppes, Kraft Foods and Mondelez.

Khan’s tenure

Khan came to Kellogg in February 2017 following stints as CFO at US Foods and United Stationers, as well as in a variety of finance, business and leadership roles at USG Corporation.

Previously, he spent several years as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.

Khan arrived at Kellogg when the company was undergoing significant cost restructuring under its Project K and Zero-Based Budgeting programs and played a key role in the completion of those programs.

He also helped drive the adoption of a new strategy that included revitalizing key brands through targeted investment and re-shaping Kellogg’s portfolio through M&A.

Q1 earnings

Kellogg today reported to investors $3.52 billion in 2019 first-quarter GAAP net sales, a year-over-year increase of 3.5%.

Reported operating profit was $381 million, about a 25% decrease from Q1 2018, which the company attributed to “business re-alignment charges, mainly related to the pending divestiture (of several business), as well as unfavorable year-on-year impacts from mark-to-market and currency translation.”

The company reported $0.82 in earnings per share in Q1, a decrease of about 35% from the prior-year quarter, mainly due to the same factors, as well as a higher effective tax rate.

Kellogg had 2018 sales of about $13.5 billion.

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