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Avis Budget Appoints Former Kraft Heinz CEO as Board Chairman

By Anne Chou
Avis Budget Group
Pavel Kapysh / Shutterstock.com

Avis Budget Group announced that it has named Bernardo Hees as the company’s independent board chairman and chair of the board’s executive committee, effective immediately. He succeeds Leonard Coleman, who will remain as a director.

Hees stepped down as CEO of Kraft Heinz in June after six years leading the company. At the time, Hees’ departure marked the most significant leadership shakeup since the merger of Kraft and Heinz in 2015 which created one of world’s largest food companies. Heinz was acquired by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and private equity firm 3G Capital, merged with Kraft, and Hees, a 3G partner, was appointed CEO of the combined company. Hees left the company amid slumping sales and profits, dividend cuts and a federal probe into the company’s accounting practices. Previously, Hees served as the chief executive of Burger King Worldwide Holdings and América Latina Logística, a Brazilian logistics company. He was also a partner at 3G Capital from 2010 to 2019.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Bernardo to the Board,” Lynn Krominga, Director and Governance Chair of the Avis Board, said in a statememtn. “He is a proven executive who has led some of the world’s leading consumer brands and has a successful track record in transportation and logistics. We are confident his experience and expertise will benefit Avis as we seek to maximize value for all its stakeholders.”

Hess is making a personal investment of $15 million in Avis shares to align his interests with those of all shareholders. The shares will be issued at the closing price of Avis common stock on Feb.7.

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