Mars, a global food and beverage giant with annual sales of more than 300billion yuan, is about to change its leadership!
The snack agent noticed that on June 22, Mars announced in an announcement that grant F. Reid, CEO of the company, would hand over the baton after nearly 10 years in charge of Mars. Poul weihrauch, global president of Mars petcare, will take over as CEO, effective from the end of September.
At the same time, Mars announced a series of subsequent executive appointments. Loic mouault, President of Royal canin, will become president of Mars Global Pet Care, and Cecile coutens will take over the post of president of Royal canin.
Grant F. Reid, CEO of Mars for a long time
In the announcement, this always low-key and “mysterious” family business also recently disclosed its business scale, with annual sales of nearly 45billion US dollars (about 301.77 billion yuan), surpassing Coca Cola, the global beverage giant.
According to the data, many well-known brands under the company include green arrow, Yida, zhenzhibang, Swiss sugar, rainbow sugar, dove, Snickers, m&m’s, crispy rice, Baolu, Weijia, Royal pet food, Fanya, etc.
Let’s take a look.
Global change of command
Mars said that Reid would stay in Mars until the end of this year. He had informed the board of directors 18 months ago that he intended to retire, and had been closely involved in helping to ensure the smooth handover. He has served as CEO since 2014. During his tenure, he has driven “unprecedented growth, impact and transformation”.
In the announcement, Frank Mars, chairman of Mars’ board of directors, paid tribute to grant F. Reid’s “extraordinary legacy” in the past, emphasizing his numerous achievements – combining performance with purpose to achieve sustainable growth, enhance Mars’ digital ability, build its iconic brand, and expand to new fields such as veterinary health, pet service and healthy snacks.
According to Mars, during grant F. Reid’s tenure, the company’s sales increased by more than 50% to nearly $45billion, and the number of employees increased from 60000 to more than 140000.
“Although he is too modest to admit it, without Grant’s leadership, our major transformation and record growth as an enterprise would not have happened. He clearly practices our principles and integrates our goals into the core of our business strategy. The Mars family is very grateful for his dedication and service.” Frank Mars said.
He described grant F. Reid as a “Tower of power”, which helped Mars embark on a new journey and pushed Mars to transcend the possible boundaries originally thought. “He represents Mars on the global stage, especially in the area of climate change, and he ensures that we are known for our actions, not just our commitments.”
Frank Mars also spoke highly of his leadership Charm: “we will miss him very much for his principled leadership, highly collaborative and charming leadership style, and – especially – his cold Scottish sense of humor.”
Grant F. Reid
Grant F. Reid said it was an honor to lead the Mars team and work closely with the Mars family. “We have built our core strengths and entered new areas, laying the foundation for a brilliant and sustainable future. But the biggest change we have made has begun with our 140000 employees, the hundreds of communities we operate and the billions of consumers we serve.”
“I am proud that in the face of global epidemic and other challenges, we have never forgotten our strategic path or our ambition to create the tomorrow world we want, and at the same time drive the realization of goals and performance – whether it is challenging ourselves to provide a real net zero supply chain and ensure our most influential raw materials (such as palm) No deforestation, or innovative packaging solutions to help ensure that our products do not become waste. ” He said.
According to the data, grant F. Reid has a close relationship with the Chinese market, and has been increasing the Chinese market during his tenure.
“Mars has been in China for 30 years, and our responsibility is to look at the development in the next few decades or even hundreds of years.” Grant F. Reid said this when attending the 14th Global China Summit of JPMorgan Chase in 2018. He said that Mars must reshape its strategy in China. It is not enough just to “exist”, but also to achieve a “sense of existence”.
Under the guidance of this thought, Mars’ practice of customizing products for China has been greatly accelerated and its investment in China has been increased. Shortly after he took office, Mars put the world’s only global food safety center and global digital innovation center in China. Recently, Mars also spent hundreds of millions of yuan to introduce the ice cream production line in the Chinese market for the first time, and is expected to test produce in the second half of this year. In addition to the increasingly rich and grounded tastes of Chinese products, in recent years, the company has also made innovations in reducing sugar and fat, and increasing high protein and dietary fiber in many products in China.
Grant F. Reid
During his tenure, grant F. Reid visited China’s new retail frontline enterprises and made a special trip to meet with relevant leaders of the Ministry of agriculture and rural areas to exchange views on the official promulgation of China’s first pet food management specification, high oleic acid peanut industry, food safety and other issues.
During his tenure, grant F. Reid also attached great importance to digitalization in the face of the impact of the rise of e-commerce on Chinese consumers’ candy buying behavior, and in order to make this family business quickly keep up with the times, and said: “Mars must be at the forefront of digital transformation, rather than following the wave.” With his attention, Mars cooperates with Chinese experts in the digital field and draws on Chinese experience to other markets.
At present, Mars’ dealers, suppliers and third-party partners such as Alibaba and Tencent are increasingly participating in the whole innovation process of the company. In addition, Mars is continuing to increase its social economy and live broadcasting, and continues to layout o2o channels and online intra city retail.
“For Mars, the most important thing at present is to take the Chinese market as the core of all businesses. China is not one of the key targets, and China is the key.” Grant F. Reid said so. At present, China is Mars’ second largest market in the world. Among Mars’ top ten large-scale markets in the world, Mars China still has the fastest growth rate.
Poul weihrauch, the next leader of Mars, is also a FMCG veteran. He once served in Mars for many years.
“Over the years, I have worked closely with Poul. He and his family are my close friends. Under his leadership, I am very excited about the future of the company and congratulate him on his appointment as CEO of this incredible company.” Grant F. Reid said.
Poul weihrauch, new CEO of Mars
Mars said in the announcement that Reid and weihrauch have been working closely for months to ensure smooth and orderly shift handover, so as to maintain a considerable momentum of business development. Grant F. Reid will continue to represent Mars until the end of 2022. He will also attend important events including the United Nations General Assembly / climate week, cop27 and so on.
Poul weihrauch will take over from the end of September.
According to the announcement, since he joined the company as head of Snickers’ European brand in 2000, he has worked in many departments of Mars. After leading Mars’ food business, he became president of Mars’ global pet care in 2014. During this period, he led the business diversification into veterinary health, diagnosis, data and platforms and achieved significant growth, doubling the business scale. Weihrauch also promoted the focus and investment on the sustainable development agenda of pet care.
“I have known Poul for 22 years and have worked closely with him in the past 10 years. I know he will become an excellent leader in the next stage of our development.” Frank Mars said.
“He is known for his charismatic and inclusive leadership style, his ability to develop the business and renew the brand, and his firm commitment to employee participation and development. With Grant’s decision, the board of directors and I are pleased to appoint such a strong Mars leader, and believe Poul will protect our achievements and lead us to a bright and exciting future.” Frank Mars said.
Video introduction of Poul weihrauch (historical materials)
Weihrauch, who will soon become the new helmsman, said that he was honored to have the opportunity to serve Mars and its 140000 employees. “This is an incredible company. It has always proved that good business is good. It is this relationship that will ensure that we continue to achieve sustainable growth and performance.”
“We live in an era full of challenges, but I am an optimist. I believe that the power of business will have a positive impact. Especially in Mars, we have the freedom to practice the right things for our employees and the world in which we operate.” Weihrauch said.
In the public information, the snack agency failed to get too many new Marshal Poul weihrauch’s comments on the Chinese market, and it is not clear what new directions he will give to the development of Chinese business for the time being
However, it is certain that Poul weihrauch himself is “fascinated” by business innovation and growth. For example, in 2019, Mars established a new department focusing on investment in pet start-ups. In addition, he took the post of nemas pet care to acquire anicura and enter the European pet care market; Mars also acquired VCA, a pet hospital operator in North America, and won more than 800 animal hospitals and 60 diagnostic laboratories in the United States and Canada.
In addition, Poul weihrauch himself should be a reformer. In 2019, Harvard Business review published the article “goal is the core of strategy”, pointing out that Poul weihrauch has significantly changed the composition and focus of the leadership team, and announced that the new collective agenda will not be limited to individual business performance, but will include “multiplier effect” between various businesses (such as pet food and pet health).
External power evaluation
The international media also paid high attention to Ma’s change of command.
According to the financial times, Mars’ latest annual revenue data reached 45billion US dollars, which means that it has surpassed Coca Cola, and its growth rate is also higher than that of other consumer goods giants, such as Nestle, Unilever and Yizi. Mars hinted in the briefing that it was the rapid growth of pet care business that enabled Poul weihrauch to take over the leadership.
The newspaper pointed out that it was rare for two members of Mars’ family to comment on grant F. Reid’s announcement of retirement. According to Forbes’ ranking, the Mars family is the third richest family in the United States, with a wealth of $94billion.
According to the financial times, in addition to significantly promoting the growth of the company’s performance, grant F. Reid is also praised for collaborating with other business leaders to deal with climate change, and promising to achieve Mars’ net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The newspaper commented that as a private company, Mars’ information disclosure requirements are low, but a number of studies show that Mars’ family business is still doing well in meeting the challenges of the times. For example, compared with the average level of its peers, the company’s debt is low, which makes it less pressure to cut costs even in times of adversity and can recover faster.
The Wall Street Journal today reviewed grant F. Reid’s major projects. In 2016, grant F. Reid led Mars to complete the comprehensive merger with Wrigley. Mars acquired a minority stake in Berkshire Hathaway of Buffett, the “God of stocks”, and then merged its chocolate business and Wrigley Department into a single department, operating in the form of Mars Wrigley candy company.
Grant F. Reid also added kind to Mars’ portfolio in 2020. Three years ago, the company acquired a minority stake in the snack manufacturer, which enabled the company to sell kind products outside the United States and Canada.