OAK BROOK, Ill., Oct. 26 (UPI) — U.S. fast food giant McDonald’s said the ketchup it buys just got personal, saying it would quit doing business with H.J. Heinz because of a managerial change.
“As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time,” McDonald’s said in a statement.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Friday that McDonald’s is cutting ties with Heinz because former Burger King Worldwide Chief Executive Officer Bernardo Hees was just picked to run what is arguably the world’s most famous ketchup company.
Hees is a partner in 3G Capital which, along with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, purchased Heinz this year. Hees, meanwhile, remains the vice chairman of the board at Burger King, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Heinz said it would not comment on a customer’s business decisions, but the company had been pushing to regain some of the McDonald’s business, which first suffered a setback in the early 1970s, when a tomato shortage forced McDonald’s to find new suppliers, the Post-Gazette reported.
McDonald’s has 34,000 outlets, but in the United States Heinz has only been supplying two of its markets, Pittsburgh and Minneapolis, the newspaper said.