McDonald’s and former Burger King exec, not sittin’ in a tree
The H.J. Heinz Co. recently recruited former Burger King Worldwide CEO, Bernardo Hees to run the Heinz empire, and many are hopeful that the new leader will promote new relationships for the ketchup supplier. But there’s already a hitch in their giddyup, as McDonald’s immediately severed ties with Heinz as their ketchup supplier, based on the hiring of Hees, especially in light of his remaining on the Board of Directors at Burger King.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, McDonald’s said in a statement, “As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time.”
Heinz retorted, stating that they do not comment on relationships with customers, and that “All our food-service customers globally remain valuable to the company and are an important part of what has made the H.J. Heinz Co. what it is today. We continue to operate respecting every customer while upholding the high level of confidentiality and business ethics that the H.J. Heinz Co. has built with our business partners over the years.”
Cutting ties with a
sworn enemy competitor
The irony of this even making headlines, however, is that only two McDonald’s markets even carry Heinz products in their stores – Minneapolis and Pittsburgh.
What is fascinating is the politics behind this move – often, it is thought that global corporations behave with their ties tight at all times, never acting with petty intentions, and that in-fighting is usually left to the little guys. Not so.
As a case study in supplier relations, it is understandable that you wouldn’t want to give business to your sworn enemy, but given that only two markets are impacted, it makes little to no statement to Hees, who is likely laughing all the way to the bank that news outlets picked this up as a story.