Mondelez CMO Mary Beth West to Exit
Mary Beth West, the top marketing executive at Mondelez International, is leaving the company as part of a C-suite reorganization at the snack and candy giant. Marketing will now be overseen by Mark Clouse, Mondelez's North American president, who will assume the newly created role of chief growth officer. That role will have responsibility over corporate strategy and global marketing, sales and research and development.
Ms. West, whose formal title was executive VP-Chief Category and Marketing Officer, assumed the top marketing role at Mondelez when the company was formed in 2012 after Kraft Foods Inc. split into two companies: Mondelez and Kraft Foods Group. Ms. West had a long career at Kraft, where she assumed the CMO role in 2007.
In a statement, Mondelez said Ms. West was leaving the company to "pursue other interests" but did not reveal details. She was not available for an interview, but a spokesman said in an email that she is "staying on for a while to assist with the transition to the company's new operating model and work with Mark on some key marketing projects."
Ms. West serves on the board of directors for J.C. Penney.
The company also said it would implement a "region category-led operating model" globally beginning next year. The model, which is already used in Europe and North America, is meant to "drive growth, streamline decision-making and accelerate speed to market," the company said.
"With these changes to our organizational structure, one of my dearest colleagues has decided that it's the right time to begin the next chapter of her career," Mondelez CEO Irene Rosenfeld said in a statement. "I've worked with Mary Beth since the 1980s at General Foods. Her deep commitment to developing people, unwavering passion for our brands and pursuit of breakthrough marketing have been her hallmarks for over 25 years and will be her legacy for many years to come."
Dana Anderson will remain in her role as senior-VP marketing strategy and communications and will now report to Mr. Clouse. She had previously reported to Ms. West.
Mr. Clouse, 46, who will report to Ms. Rosenfeld, has spent 18 years with Kraft and Mondelez in various roles.
"The creation of the chief growth officer role ensures that growth remains at the forefront of our company strategy," Ms. Rosenfeld said. "It will bring the same focus and discipline to driving sustained, profitable growth that we have brought to improving our cost structure and expanding margins. Mark is the ideal leader for this new position, with proven success across global categories, as well as in regional and country operating roles in both emerging and developed markets."
Mondelez, which includes brands like Oreo, Nabisco and Cadbury, was formed in a move to capitalize on growing snacking trends globally, including in emerging markets.
Andrew Wood, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein, stated in a report issued this week that "Mondelez has the best portfolio" among U.S.-based food companies "with over 80% of sales in snack products and 40% of sales in emerging markets, yet top line growth has been lackluster since the split from Kraft."