Anthony O'Reilly Steps Down As Chief Executive of H.J. Heinz After Criticism That Stock Gains Have Not Been Big Enough

O'Reilly, 61, will stay on as chairman for three more years, but won't hold an executive title at the company. Heinz president William R. Johnson, 48, has been groomed to succeed O'Reilly and takes over as chief executive.

Heinz stock price surged in the years following O'Reilly's 1979 appointment as chief executive, but in recent years the returns have lagged the overall stock market while O'Reilly has remained among one of the highest paid U.S. executives.