American food behemoth Kraft Heinz has appointed its youngest ever CFO: 29-year-old David Knopf.
The maker of Heinz ketchup said that Knopf would replace 42-year-old Paulo Basilio starting in October. Basilio will remain at the company as president of the U.S. business, while Chief Operating Officer George Zoghbi will take on a new role as strategic advisor.
Bloomberg reported that the leadership shakeup is an attempt to revive the company’s sluggish sales. Companies like Kraft have been suffering as consumers reject pre-packaged goods in favor of fresh ingredients.
Are are three things to know about David Knopf:
Knopf is Kraft’s youngest-ever CFO
David Knopf is only 29 years old, making him Kraft Heinz’s youngest ever CFO. Knopf is younger than the youngest Fortune 500 CEOs: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who is 33, and Keith Cozza, the 37-year-old boss of Icahn Enterprises.
However, he is not the youngest person to ever become the CFO of a major company. Joshua Kobza had that position at Restaurant Brands International at the age of 28 in 2013, and Nolan Watson became the CFO of Silver Wheaton in 2006 at just 26.
Knopf graduated from Princeton and worked in private equity
According to Knopf’s LinkedIn profile, he graduated Princeton University in 2010 and went to work as an investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs. He then joined Onex for a year as a Private Equity Associate before moving to private equity firm 3G Capital in 2013.
In 2017, Knopf was nominated on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Finance list for his role in the 3G-led $11 billion Burger King-Tim Hortons acquisition and Heinz’s $45 billion merger with Kraft.
Knopf joined Kraft Heinz in 2015
Knopf joined Kraft Heinz in July 2015 as the two companies merged. He was vice president of finance between July 2015 and August 2016, when he took up a role overseeing the Planets Nut brand.
Kraft Heinz, backed by 3G Capital and famed investor Warren Buffet, hasn’t posted a sales growth since the 2015 merger — meaning Knopf has his work cut out for him.