General Mills Creates Chief Creative Officer Role

Former Fallon Exec Michael Fanuele Will Oversee Brand Strategy

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Michael Fanuele
Michael Fanuele
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General Mills Chief Marketing Officer Mark Addicks is getting a wing man, as the packaged-food giant brings aboard a former agency executive in the newly created position of chief creative officer.

Michael Fanuele, formerly the chief strategy officer for Fallon, will oversee brand strategy, strategic planning and creative development at General Mills. Previously those duties were mostly overseen at the brand level, with Mr. Addicks having the ultimate responsibility.

"A great creative idea strategically communicated to the right audience at the right time and place is critical to success in today's dynamic, multi-channel world," Mr. Addicks said in a statement. "Michael brings a wealth of experience in leading teams to do great work that delivers market growth. We believe his strategic planning and thought leadership will be powerful additions to the ways our brands connect with our consumers."

The move will align content creation and production under the new role; Mr. Fanuele will also oversee brand design, marketing best practices, and external agency management, a spokeswoman said.

Mr. Fanuele worked from Fallon's Minneapolis office, which is the same city as General Mills headquarters. "I'm thrilled to be joining the General Mills team and look forward to leading creative strategy for its many brands that truly matter to millions of people," Mr. Fanuele said. "I am excited to see just how great these brands can be when turbocharged with purpose and creativity."

It's the latest big marketing exec shift at General Mills, which last month hired former MillerCoors marketer Jackie Woodward for the newly created position of VP-global media. General Mills is the nation's 44th largest advertiser, spending $894.2 million last year in the U.S., according to the Ad Age DataCenter.

Mr. Fanuele's hiring follows moves by other marketers to centralize creative functions. For instance, PepsiCo in 2012 tapped Mauro Porcini, 3M's longtime design guru, as its first chief design officer. Also, last year Johnson & Johnson hired its first corporate-wide chief design officer when it brought on Ernesto Quinteros, former chief brand and design officer of Los Angeles-based Belkin International.

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