BATTLE CREEK, Michigan: The Kellogg Company has named president and chief operating officer David Mackay to succeed James Jenness who will step down as chief executive at the end of the year.

No reason was given for the management suite reshuffle, which sees Jenness remaining as chairman after just two years in the ceo hotseat. A branding specialist, Jenness succeeded Carlos Gutierrez after he was headhunted by the Bush administration for the job of commerce secretary.

The present change has caught some industry commentators on the hop. Says analyst John McMillin of Prudential Financial: "This was an announcement I expected about a year or so from now."

Australian-born Mackay (51) led Kellogg's "volume to value" strategy, which favored value-added, high-margin products over selling more cornflakes.

His starting salary as head of the company will be $1.1 million (€877k; £588k), according to a filing with the SEC, and he is eligible for a long-term incentive program target award of $6m for next year.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff