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    ConAgra Foods to Realign Its Businesses

    OMAHA, Neb. -- Packaged foods giant ConAgra Foods Inc. said yesterday it will combine its foodservice segment with its food ingredients business, to form one new commercial foods group. The goal is to improve accountability and reduce complexity, the company said.

    OMAHA, Neb. -- Packaged foods giant ConAgra Foods Inc. said yesterday it will combine its foodservice segment with its food ingredients business, to form one new commercial foods group. The goal is to improve accountability and reduce complexity, the company said.

    Greg Heckman, who was president of ConAgra's ingredients business, will lead the new commercial group. ConAgra's retail business will be led by Dean Hollis, who was e.v.p. of retail under the old structure.

    The sales organization, which has been reporting to the head of retail, will now be led by Doug Knudsen and will report directly to c.e.o. Gary Rodkin, as will a chief marketing officer (CMO) to be named at a later date. Rodkin said that with the selection of a best-in-class brand builder as CMO, he looks to energize ConAgra Foods' marketing for high-priority brands, and drive both growth and innovation.

    "Marketing and sales are at the heart of our business," said Rodkin. "I want direct oversight of these functions to make sure we maximize our impact with both customers and consumers. Improving execution in sales and marketing is essential to our success."

    ConAgra is additionally realigning some of our corporate and shared services units. Among the more significant changes in this regard is the realignment of all supply chain organizations under Jim Hardy, previously s.v.p., manufacturing, who is promoted to e.v.p., manufacturing and supply chain. He will have responsibility for manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, purchasing and customer service.

    Other functional disciplines from human resources to research and development will be more centralized as well, the manufacturer said.

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