Cadbury’s chairman Roger Carr and chief executive Todd Stitzer have both said they are stepping down after shareholders approved US food giant Kraft’s £11.4 billion takeover.
Both men led a vocal defence of the Dairy Milk maker during the five-month takeover tussle, forcing Kraft to up its bid for the business.
However, after accepting that 186 years of independence had come to an end, Mr Carr said: “Together we have fought an excellent defence campaign and delivered substantial value to Cadbury shareholders.”
A leaving date for Mr Carr - who first joined the Cadbury board in 2003 - has yet to be determined.
Chief executive Todd Stitzer is also to leave after 27 years with the company, with chief financial officer Andrew Bonfield also departing.
Mr Carr has been no stranger to big deals during a lengthy corporate career, and was chairman of utility Thames Water when the company agreed a £4.3 billion takeover by Germany’s RWE in 2000.
He is also chairman of British Gas parent Centrica as well as a non-executive director of the Bank of England.
Investors holding 71.7 per cent of Cadbury’s shares backed the takeover yesterday, although the deal triggered protests at Westminster from unions and workers at the company’s Bournville plant in Birmingham.
Kraft chairman and chief executive Irene Rosenfeld said the deal “will be good for the company, good for the UK and good for British manufacturing jobs”.
Mr Carr was paid £259,000 for chairing Cadbury in 2008, according to Cadbury’s annual report.
The report says there are no special payments made to directors following a change in control, but two share incentive schemes for senior staff will “vest in full” after a takeover, subject to business performance.
This is likely to mean huge multi-million payouts for Cadbury directors on leaving the business, although a spokesman for the firm was unable to confirm how much they would receive.
According to the annual report, Mr Stitzer had an interest in more than 453,000 shares under Cadbury’s long-term incentive scheme as of December 31 2008, worth a potential maximum of £3.8 million under Kraft’s offer.
As of the end of 2008, the report adds that Mr Stitzer owned 642,000 shares in Cadbury with options over another 1.36 million - valued at around £17 million by the takeover.