Melissa Werneck

Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer

Kraft Heinz

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If there’s one thing that defines Melissa Werneck, it’s adaptability. In fact, it’s a theme that runs through her diversified career and range of corporate leadership roles, from one of her earliest jobs as a Logistics Analyst at a Brazilian brewery later incorporated by AB InBev to her current role as Executive Vice President and Global Chief People Officer for The Kraft Heinz Company. At Kraft Heinz, Melissa oversees the Company’s global Human Resources function, responsible for talent management and talent acquisition, leadership development, total rewards and recognition, engagement, learning and diversity, inclusion and belonging (DI&B) for its 36,000 employees. Reporting directly to Chief Executive Officer and Board Chair Miguel Patricio, she’s served in this capacity since August 2016. This role is the culmination of a wide-ranging career where she’s developed expertise in functions ranging from human resources to marketing, from supply chain to logistics, from Environmental Social Governance to information technology. Leaning into the Kraft Heinz Value We champion great people, under Melissa’s leadership the company has earned impressive external recognition, including being ‘Great Place to Work’-certified in 12 countries and named as a ‘Best Employer’ by several well-recognized publications, including FORBES and Newsweek. The company also has been recognized by the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for supporting gender equality through policy development, representation, and transparency, and has been earning a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index since 2019. Melissa is proud of how employee engagement has improved, how DI&B has evolved, and how collaboration has moved from a buzzword to a tangible way of working across the business. This teamwork approach extends to the 700 global People & Performance colleagues she leads, who she sees as impactful and strategic facilitators working to help enable and empower the company’s business. Servant leadership is her philosophy, as she believes in working behind the scenes to support others and help them develop into the best versions of themselves. Someone who’s lived and worked in different countries, cities and states, Melissa credits her personal curiosity, thirst for learning, agility, and flexibility for driving her varied career. Over the years, she viewed opportunities to stretch beyond her comfort zone as gifts, prompting her to quickly learn new skills and take on new leadership and management roles. A down-to-earth, relatable leader, she’s equally as comfortable talking to Board members and shareholders as she is chatting with employees on the factory floor. Trained as a chemical engineer, Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree from Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil and an MBA from the COPPEAD Graduate School of Business at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. As someone who holds certification as a Six Sigma Green Belt and in Negotiation Strategies and Skills from the University of Michigan, she’s learned to integrate the analytical, logical thinking she developed as an engineer with intuition and emotion in her role as a People leader. Earlier in her career, Melissa worked at Brazil’s América Latina Logística S.A. (ALL), the largest railroad-based logistics company in the country, in a variety of People & Performance leadership roles from 2007 to 2013. She then joined H. J. Heinz Company as Head of Global Human Resources, Performance and Information Technology, before its merger with the Kraft Foods Group in 2015. Coaching, mentoring and career development isn’t just what Melissa does at Kraft Heinz, but who she is. Since 2019, she’s supported nearly 100 young people ‘ friends of her sons, the children of her friends and their friends by coaching them in advance of internship interviews. This volunteer effort is personal to Melissa; to her, it’s a mission. That’s what drives the work she does professionally and outside the walls of Kraft Heinz. A passionate believer in sharing her time and talent within the larger community, Melissa serves on the Board of the Kraft Heinz Company Foundation and on the Board of World Business Chicago, the city of Chicago’s public private economic development agency. She’s also the Board Chairman of Together We Grow, a consortium of food and agriculture companies, educational institutions and NGOs united to build a more skilled, diverse and inclusive workforce for these industries.

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