Five years ago, 29-year-old David Knopf was unable to rent a car. Now, as the new chief financial officer at Kraft Heinz, he will handle finances for the food giant (which has a $100 billion market cap and sells a wide variety of products from macaroni and cheese to condiments). According to Crist|Kolder Associates, the average age of a Fortune 500 or S&P 500 CFO is 52 years old. This makes Knopf the youngest CFO to lead a large U.S. company.
Knopf takes over from current CFO Paulo Basilio, 42, who will become president of Kraft Heinz’s U.S. business. Knopf officially starts his new role in October.
Knopf, who has also been a partner at Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital since 2015, was a part of the acquisition that merged Kraft with Heinz. 3G Capital has the second-largest stake in Kraft Heinz at 23.9%, right after Berkshire Hathaway’s 27.7%. Knopf was also a part of Burger King’s $11 billion merger with Tim Hortons. His role in these two large mergers landed him on Forbes‘ 30-under-30 list this year.
Before being named CFO at Kraft Heinz, he first served as vice president of finance, head of global budget and business planning, zero-based budgeting, and financial and strategic planning. His most recent position was as vice president of Planters, a Kraft Heinz nut brand. Prior to joining Kraft Heinz and 3G Capital, he served as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs and as a private equity associate at Onex.
The news of Knopf’s appointment did little to raise the shares of Kraft Heinz. They increased just 0.26 percent on the day and are down about 6.5 percent on the year. Knopf will be expected to help the company cut costs and boost sluggish sales as the Pittsburgh-based company has not posted any sales growth since the 2015 merger.