Photo: MS3 Marketing
Marc Firestone, the evp/general counsel at Kraft who suggested the international division of the company should rename itself Mondelez, is leaving the company, according to Inside Counsel, a legal trade publication.
Firestone’s new job is as general counsel to Philip Morris International in Lausanne, Switzerland. He will start there in April, Kraft said.
The move is unrelated to Kraft’s plan to spin-off its international foods division and abandon the Kraft name as a global brand. Kraft asked its employees for suggestions for names for the international spinoff, and Firestone and another colleague both proposed “Mondelez,” a made-up name that hints at global deliciousness (“monde” and “delice”).
The move is controversial because it abandons the Kraft name in foreign countries after 103 years of continuous use.
Firestone’s departure contains not a little irony—he’s moving back to the global unit of a world-famous tobacco company whose U.S. unit abandoned its venerable brand in favour of the less-loved “Altria.” That company was itself a spinoff from Kraft. Firestone previously worked at Philip Morris/Altria until 2003, the year of its rebranding.
In his Kraft bio, Firestone confesses that originally he wanted to be an adman, not a lawyer:”I wanted to be a copywriter at an advertising agency — either that or a novelist. After I finished my bachelor’s degree, I knocked on the door of every ad agency in Manhattan. With bruised knuckles, I applied to law school.”
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