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General Mills overhauls its structure

News, 07 December 2016
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MINNEAPOLIS: General Mills, the Minnesota-based food giant, is undergoing a comprehensive restructure that will see the creation of a new global CMO role as well as four worldwide business groups.

The reorganisation means that the position of International Chief Operating Officer is being eliminated and Ann Simonds, the CMO for the past two years, will leave the company along with up to 600 other jobs around the world.

General Mills also announced that Jeff Harmening, its President and COO, has assumed responsibility for global operations, reporting to Chairman and CEO Ken Powell.

A new global CMO or marketing innovation leader will report to Harmening from 1 January 2017, as will the leaders of the four new business groups.

These will cover North America, Europe and Australia, Asia and Latin America, along with a fourth group handling convenience stores and food service.

As well as these four business groups, the maker of Cheerios cereal and Häagen-Dazs ice cream, will align its current dairy strategic brand unit (SBU) to the new global organisation structure.

Based in France, the dairy SBU will report to Harmening and also work with the four group presidents to explore ways to drive growth in a category that has become increasingly important for the company.

General Mills currently holds the No. 2 global positions in yoghurt and super-premium ice cream, with brands such as Yoplait and Häagen-Dazs.

Furthermore, the company said it aims to enhance its growth capabilities in several other areas, including e-commerce, marketing innovation and strategic revenue management. This is likely to involve the recruitment of external experts to augment its current pool of talent in these areas.

Commenting on the changes, President and COO Jeff Harmening said: "We continue to prioritise both growth and returns. The structural changes announced today will help us unlock global growth opportunities and go after them by efficiently restructuring our teams and processes."

The development comes after Warc recently reported on the changes General Mills has introduced to its payment policy for creative agencies.

Michael Fanuele, Chief Creative Officer at General Mills, outlined the thinking behind its new remuneration policy at the Talent@2030 Conference that took place in New York last month.

Data sourced from General Mills; additional content by Warc staff

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