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After introducing coffee-flavored Oreos, Altoid’s breath mints, and refrigerated meal kits for speedy dinners, Kraft Foods Inc. has announced its latest addition: executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary Marc Firestone. Firestone, 44, came from the GC post at Altria Group, Inc., the world’s largest tobacco firm, formerly known as Philip Morris Companies. But coming to Kraft didn’t mean leaving the tobacco company entirely. Altria owns the majority of Kraft’s outstanding shares of common stock � a connection that has been blamed for the food manufacturer’s debt-ratings downgrades and heightened borrowing costs. And making matters worse, Kraft suffered a blast of bad PR at its annual shareholders meeting last year, when actor Chevy Chase castigated the company for using genetically engineered ingredients. But Firestone is probably too busy to worry much about criticisms from the star of National Lampoon’s Vacation. Aside from his legal functions at the Northfield, Illinois company, Firestone oversees its compliance activities. And if Kraft continues to acquire other companies, like many food analysts expect it will, Firestone will have even more on his plate. A big challenge for the big cheese.

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