General Mills Chief Marketing Officer and Senior VP Mark Addicks, one of the longest-tenured CMOs in the food industry, will retire in 2015, ending a 26-year career at the packaged food giant, the company announced Tuesday. He will be replaced by Ann Simonds, currently president of General Mills' baking products division.
Mr. Addicks joined General Mills in 1988, was promoted to VP of marketing communications in 2000, and took the CMO role in 2004, adding senior VP to his title in 2007.
In a statement, General Mills said Mr. Addicks "had previously informed the company of his plans" and "will work to transition responsibilities to [Ms.] Simonds over a period of several months, beginning Nov. 1."
"Mark has been a remarkable visionary who has helped shape the purpose of our brands to best serve our consumers," General Mills CEO Ken Powell said in a statement. "We thank Mark for his incredible contributions to General Mills over 26 terrific years. We know he will continue to be a marketing thought leader and brand-building visionary even in his retirement."
Ms. Simonds is a former Johnson & Johnson marketer who joined General Mills in 1995. She has led the baking division since 2012. During her career at the company, she has worked on brands including Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Cheerios, Wheaties and Yoplait.
As CMO she will lead what the company described as a "newly-configured marketing organization that adds consumer insights and the marketing capabilities within what General Mills calls GCom." She will report to Jeff Harmening, executive VP and chief operating officer for U.S. retail. "Ann is a world-class marketer who has spent nearly two decades at General Mills as a steward for our company's biggest brands," Mr. Harmening said.