General Mills announces new global organizational structure

by Monica Watrous
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General Mills headquarters
General Mills' restructuring is expected to affect approximately 400 to 600 positions globally.

MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. has created a new global organizational structure to streamline the company’s leadership, maximize global scale and increase operational agility. The changes follow the previously announced departure of Christopher D. O’Leary, executive vice-president and chief operating officer, International, who will step down on Dec. 31, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, Jeff Harmening, president and chief operating officer, will assume responsibility over global operations, and the position of International c.o.o. will be eliminated. As part of the new structure, four business groups, each led by a group president, will report directly to Mr. Harmening. The groups are: North America Retail (U.S. Retail & Canada) led by Jon Nudi; Europe & Australia led by Bethany Quam; Asia & Latin America led by Christina Law; and Convenience Stores & Foodservice led by Shawn O’Grady.

The company’s international business accounts for approximately 28% of General Mills’ net sales and recorded $4.6 billion in sales in the fiscal year ended May 29.

Ken Powell, General Mills
Ken Powell, chairman and c.e.o. of General Mills.

“As we wrap up our 150th anniversary year, we are ready to take the next step in our journey to truly operate as a global company and fully resource our best ideas to drive growth,” said Ken Powell, chairman and chief executive officer of General Mills.

Additionally, the company will align its dairy strategy brand unit to the new global organization structure. Based in France and led by Olivier Faujour, this unit will report to Mr. Harmening and will work with the group presidents to explore global growth opportunities for the dairy platform. Currently, General Mills holds the No. 2 positions worldwide for yogurt and super-premium ice cream with such brands as Yoplait and Häagen-Dazs.

General Mills also will establish a new global revenue development group, including the functions of strategic revenue management and e-commerce, which will report to Mr. O’Grady. The company plans to name a new global chief marketing officer and marketing innovation leader, who will report to Mr. Harmening.

The restructuring is expected to affect approximately 400 to 600 positons globally.

Jeff Harmening, General Mills
Jeff Harmening, president and c.o.o. of General Mills
“We continue to prioritize both growth and returns,” Mr. Harmening said. “The structural changes announced today will help us unlock global growth opportunities and go after them by efficiently restructuring our teams and processes. In addition, the capability investments and savings generated by these changes will help us deliver our fiscal 2018 adjusted operating profit margin target of 20%.”
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