Gerhard (Gerd) Pleuhs is Executive Vice President Corporate & Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Mondelēz International, a global company leading the future of snacking with 2020 net revenues of approximately $27 billion. In this role, Gerd oversees the company’s communications, sustainability and public and government 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 several senior positions within the company’s Law Department at a country, region and corporate level, including responsibility and oversight for the legal departments in developing and developed markets.
In 2012, Pleuhs became Kraft Foods’ EVP & General Counsel, a role in which he continues for Mondelēz International, following the 2012 spinoff of Kraft Foods Group, Inc. In 2015, he assumed additional responsibility for the Corporate Affairs team, including public and government affairs, communications and sustainability.
Gerd has been involved in and dealt with a wide range of legal issues and matters involving many jurisdictions and areas of law and compliance. Gerd negotiated Kraft’s acquisition of businesses in Morocco, Bulgaria, Russia, Poland, Turkey and Egypt. He was the lead negotiator in Kraft’s 2007 $7.6Bn acquisition of Danone’s LU biscuit business. He was also a member of the core team responsible for Kraft’s $19Bn Cadbury acquisition in 2010.
With the announcement of the separation of Kraft Foods Inc. into two separately publicly-traded companies, Gerd led the many legal work streams that enabled the spin-off of Kraft Foods Group, Inc. He was responsible for the team of lawyers that successfully litigated a $2.76 billion compensation claim for early termination of a distribution agreement for Starbuck’s coffee in North American grocery stores. In 2015, he led the Mondelēz International team that created the coffee joint venture with D.E MASTER BLENDERS which resulted in the creation of the Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) company. Pleuhs sits on the Board of Directors of Keurig Dr. Pepper (KDP), JDE and the Dong Suh Foods Corporation.
As he took on the responsibility for MDLZ’s CA Team, he changed the strategy and direction of the entire function to become more externally focused, while at the same time establishing a global Newsroom concept that made internal global communications more aligned and effective, helping to increase the overall employee engagement substantially over time. He also cooperated with other senior members of the MDLZ leadership to lead the development and roll out of the company’s new purpose platform, Snacking Made Right.
Gerd has a law degree from the University in Kiel, Germany, is a member of the Bar in Bremen, Germany and was admitted as House Counsel in the state of Illinois. A native of Germany, Gerd is fluent in English and German.