EXETER, NH -- Robert M. Schaeberle, former Nabisco chairman and chief executive, died on Sept. 29 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was 88.
After serving in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II, Schaeberle earned a bachelor's degree at Dartmouth College. He joined Nabisco as a trainee and spent 40 years with the company.
Schaeberle became president and chief executive in 1976. He led the company's merger with Standard Brands in 1981 and became chairman of the newly named Nabisco Brands. The merger combined iconic Nabisco brands, including Ritz, Oreo and Nabisco, with Standard's Planters, Baby Ruth and Butterfinger. Soon after the merger, the new company acquired Life Savers.
In 1985, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. acquired Nabisco, forming RJR Nabisco Inc. Schaeberle became chairman of its Nabisco Brands division. He retired from the company in 1986. Philip Morris Cos. Inc. acquired Nabisco in 2000 and merged it with Kraft Foods Inc.
Schaeberle is survived by his sons Robert, Mark and Gregg; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His first wife, Barbara Slockbower, died in 1981. His second wife, Barbara Peace, died in 2003.