LONDON — British lawmakers attacked Kraft Food Inc.’s chief executive, Irene Rosenfeld, for refusing to appear for the second time before an inquiry into the company’s takeover of chocolate maker Cadbury.
Rosenfeld’s absence dominated a hearing held yesterday by the Business Select Committee into whether Kraft has kept promises it made about protecting jobs in Britain after the takeover. A trio of underlings was instead left to tell lawmakers the US company could not extend guarantees about preserving jobs beyond next year.
Rosenfeld’s decision to spurn invitations to appear before the committee has further strained Kraft’s already fraught political relations in Britain. Last year’s hostile takeover of one of Britain’s most-loved companies was a touchstone for a wider debate about foreign-takeover laws.
Kraft promised during the takeover bid to keep open a factory employing some 400 workers — only to announce its closing once the deal was sealed.
One lawmaker said Rosenfeld’s refusal to appear was “quite contemptuous.’’