Gerd Pleuhs is Executive Vice President Corporate & Legal Affairs and General Counsel. Gerd oversees the company’s communications, sustainability and public affairs teams as well as the legal, corporate secretarial, compliance, and security functions.
Gerd joined the Law Department of Jacobs Kaffee Deutschland GmbH in 1985, prior to its acquisition in 1990 by Altria Group, Inc. (formerly Philip Morris Companies Inc.). Gerd held a number of senior positions within the German Law Department, including Chief Counsel for the combined operations of Kraft and Jacobs Suchard, covering legal and regulatory affairs. In 2000, he was appointed Vice President & Chief Counsel for Kraft’s Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa Region, headquartered in Vienna. In 2003, Gerd was appointed Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Kraft Foods International, Inc. based in Rye Brook, N.Y. In 2004, Gerd moved to Northfield, IL to assume the position of Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, International for Kraft Foods Global, Inc. He was promoted to Senior Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Business Units in November 2007. On April 1, 2012 Gerd became Kraft Foods’ EVP & General Counsel, reporting to the CEO. He continues in that role for Mondelēz International, Inc. following the October 1, 2012 Spin-off of Kraft Foods Group, Inc. In 2015, he assumed additional responsibility for the Corporate Affairs team, including public and government affairs, communications and sustainability.
Since leaving Germany to work in international markets, Gerd has been involved in and dealt with a wide variety of legal issues and matters. His work has involved many jurisdictions and areas of law and compliance, including much of Kraft’s international M&A activity. Gerd negotiated Kraft’s acquisition of businesses in Morocco, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Poland, Turkey, and Egypt. He was the lead negotiator in Kraft’s 2007 $7.6B acquisition of Danone’s LU biscuit business. He was also a member of the core team responsible for Kraft’s $19B Cadbury acquisition in 2010.
With the announcement of the separation of Kraft Foods Inc. into two separate publicly-traded companies, Mondelēz international, Inc. and Kraft Foods Group, Inc., Gerd led the many legal work streams that enabled the spin-off of Kraft Foods Group, Inc. In 2015, he lead the MDLZ team that created our coffee joint venture with D.E MASTER BLENDERS which resulted in the creation of the Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) company.
Gerd has a law degree from the University in Kiel, and is a member of the Bar in Bremen, Germany and admitted as House Counsel in Illinois, USA.