Looking to advance its Accelerate strategy, which aims to create competitive advantages for profitable growth, General Mills today announced several changes to its senior leadership team, all of which will take effect Jan. 1.
In a new role, Jon Nudi will serve as group president of Pet and International, accountable for the company’s two largest growth areas. He comes from the North America Retail (NAR) group, which he has led since 2016. Earlier this year, General Mills pointed to the NAR group—its largest group in its largest core market—as key to furthering the Accelerate strategy. Under Nudi’s leadership, NAR significantly accelerated its growth in organic net sales and segment operating profit, while driving consistent market share gains across its priority businesses, the company says.
The Pet Food business has also been key, more than doubling its household penetration since General Mills entered the category via acquisition in 2018. The company continues its acquisitions in Pet, announcing just this month its acquisition of Fera Pets, a holistic pet health brand.
In International, Ricardo Fernandez has been promoted to segment president, reporting to Nudi. Fernandez has served as president of the U.S. Morning Foods operating unit since 2021, expanding the company’s leadership in its U.S. cereal category. Earlier in his career, Fernandez held leadership roles for General Mills businesses in Europe and Latin America.
Taking over from Nudi, Dana McNabb has been promoted to group president of NAR, moving from her position as chief strategy and growth officer. Previously, McNabb served as group president of the Europe and Australia segment, as well as president of the U.S. Cereal operating unit, notably achieving leadership in that category for the first time in 15 years and accelerating growth in net sales and operating profit.
Bethany Quam is taking over from Fernandez as president of U.S. Morning Foods, and will join the NAR leadership team, reporting to McNabb. Since 2019, Quam served as group president of Pet, and led the segment to double-digit compound annual top and bottom-line growth.
Kofi Bruce, CFO, will oversee the Strategy and Growth organization on an interim basis while the company conducts an external search for a new chief strategy and growth officer.
“We are making these strategic changes to best position General Mills for today’s dynamic landscape,” says Jeff Harmening, the company’s chairman and CEO. “These moves enable us to best match our deep bench of senior talent to fast-growing and important consumer areas and occasions. I am confident this will help us advance our next chapter in our Accelerate enterprise strategy.”
An additional change comes with the retirement of Sean Walker, currently group president of International, after more than three decades with General Mills. His retirement will be effective Feb. 28.
Recognizing Walker’s impact across the company, Harmening comments, “Sean identified big bets for our International business and has been instrumental in our most recent launch of Blue Buffalo in China.”