POWER PLAY: Mr. Addicks was promoted to chief marketing officer from VP-Gcom marketing division since last year's Power Players, based largely on his success building General Mills' internal "Brand Champions" branding model. To drive efficiencies, General Mills recently pledged to cut 20% of its product portfolio, a move that's expected to allow Mr. Addicks, 49, to focus more closely on building the company's top-selling products. Mr. Addicks made a big play in the health arena, an area General Mills plans to further emphasize, with the launch this year of low-sugar versions of top kid cereals including Cocoa Puffs and Trix, backed by unprecedented in-store and ad support. Competitor Kellogg Co. had earlier launched low-sugar Fruit Loops and Frosted Flakes.
DOWNSIDE: At a time when General Mills badly needs new-product success stories, a much-touted crispy glaze innovation in the Pop Secret microwave popcorn line was recalled due to consumer complaints about burns. Likewise, the company pulled back on an intended extension to its low-carb Total Protein cereal and lowered the premium price of the base Total Protein, which retailers expect won't last long due to poor sales.