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NEW YORK (AP) — Heinz is bringing in Burger King CEO Bernardo Hees as its next top executive, signaling what may be the first of many changes planned by the ketchup maker's new owners.

The Pittsburgh-based company, whose extensive line of products includes baked beans, vinegar and Classico pasta sauce, had announced in February that it was being acquired and taken private by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital.

The firms noted at the time that Berkshire would act as a financing partner while 3G would run the company. Hees's appointment is further evidence that Heinz will be an active investment for 3G, in contrast to Buffett's traditionally more passive approach.

Hees, a partner at 3G, was installed as CEO of Burger King after the firm bought the struggling hamburger chain in 2010.

3G, which is run by Brazilian billionaires, has since slashed costs, revamped the burger chain's menu and launched a major marketing campaign intended to help it pose a greater threat to longtime rival McDonald's. The moves presaged Burger King's return to the stock market last spring in a deal that allowed 3G to more than earn back its investment in the chain. The firm remains the majority owner.

3G's strategy of aggressive cost-cutting and overhauling at companies it takes over had prompted speculation that H.J. Heinz could be in store for a major shakeup. To ease concerns among employees, Heinz and 3G noted when the deal was announced that Heinz is different because it's a healthy business. But the radical changes Hees oversaw at Burger King Worldwide during his short tenure could be a clue to what's in store for Heinz.

At Burger King's headquarters in Miami, for example, executive offices were eliminated in favor of open spaces. Hees sits at a desk outside the elevators on the seventh floor, appearing almost like a receptionist, flanked by executive lieutenants.

A big board in front of their desks is updated daily with reports on sales and customer traffic globally and by region. Executives, including Hees, have color-coded boards by their desks displaying their annual goals. The idea is that everyone at the company can see each other's goals.

Hees will remain CEO of Burger King and Bill Johnson will remain CEO of Heinz until the deal is done. Notably, Johnson said when the deal was announced that he had not discussed his future with the company with the new owners.

But he could walk away with $212.7 million if he's pushed out. That figure includes $40 million if he chooses to leave at any time and an additional $16 million if he's fired. Johnson is also entitled to a payout of $99.7 million in vested stock and $57 million in deferred compensation accrued over his 30-year career with Heinz.

Berkshire and 3G said they will discuss a continuing role with Heinz for Johnson.

Heinz shareholders are set to vote on the deal at a meeting April 30. The deal is expected to close in the second or third quarter and still awaits regulatory approval in some countries and the European Union. U.S. authorities have signed off on the deal.

3G Managing Partner Alex Behring said Hees' experience in the food industry makes him the ideal leader for Heinz.

At Burger King Worldwide, Chief Financial Officer Daniel Schwartz will become chief operating officer and will take the CEO job July 1.

Despite the moves made by Hees, the world's second-biggest hamburger chain says it needs to play up value more aggressively to compete with rivals.

On Wednesday, Burger King said it expects revenue at restaurants open at least a year fell 1.5% in the first quarter. The figure is considered critical because it strips out the effects of locations that opened or closed during the year.

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