On the Move has hiring updates at Mars Petcare and Kraft Heinz.
Welcome to On the Move. Every week, The Current is rounding up the comings and goings of leaders at brands and retailers across the ecommerce, retail and CPG landscape.
This week brings succession plans to usher in new CEOs at Cargill, Ahold Delhaize USA and Kodiak Cakes. Plus, key North American leaders are appointed at Kraft Heinz and Mars Petcare.
Here’s a closer look:
Brian Sikes. (Photo via Cargill)
Brian Sikes was promoted to CEO at Cargill, effective Jan. 1, 2023. With this promotion, current CEO Dave MacLennan will move to the role of executive chairman after a nine-year stint in the top role.
Sikes is a 31-year veteran of the 157-year-old global food corporation, and most recently served as COO. He previously led the company’s global salt and protein businesses, as well as leadership roles in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
MacLennan initially joined Cargill in 1991. During his tenure, he oversaw the acquisition of companies including Croda (bioindustrials), EWOS (aquaculture), Diamond V (animal nutrition), and Sanderson and Wayne Farms (poultry). The company also developed alternative proteins, as well as technology for farming, supply chain and food delivery.
JJ Fleeman. (Coutesy photo)
JJ Fleeman will become the CEO of grocer Ahold Delhaize USA in 2023. He will succeed current CEO Kevin Holt, who is set to retire after stepping down in April.
Fleeman is the president of Peapod Digital Labs, which is the company’s center of innovation in ecommerce, technology and shopper experience. Over a 30-year career, he also served as an executive in several of the company’s grocery brands, including Food Lion, which is its largest.
Along with Food Lion, Ahold Delhaize USA oversees regional grocers including Food Lion, Giant, Stop & Shop, FreshDirect and Hannaford.
Valerie Oswalt. (Courtesy photo)
Breakfast and snack brand Kodiak Cakes announced the appointment of Valerie Oswalt as the company’s new CEO. With this hire, CEO Joel Clark and president Cameron Smith, who are both cofounders of the brand, will transition to the company’s board of directors.
Oswalt is joining Kodiak from the Campbell Soup Company, where she was president of the $3.9 billion snacks division (Goldfish, Milano, Pepperidge Farm, Snyder's of Hanover) and served as an executive VP since 2020. She previously served as CEO of trail mix and nut products brand Century Snacks, and led a turnaround effort there.
Kodiak Cakes makes protein-powered pancake and waffle mixes, frozen waffles and pancakes, oatmeal, baking mix and snacks. Over the last 18 months, the brand has received a majority investment from L Catterton, hired former Patagonia head of global marketing Cory Bayers and brought on actor Zac Efron as board member and chief brand officer. The brand has better than 30% top-line growth of the last year, and north of 60% CAGR over the last 12 years.
Alanna McDonald. (Courtesy photo)
Mars Petcare said Alanna McDonald is the new regional president for its Mars Pet Nutrition business in North America, which oversees brands such as Pedigree, Iams and Caesar.
McDonald previously served as president of beauty brands including Maybelline New York, Garnier and essie at L'Oreal, putting an emphasis on ecommerce. She also spent 17 years at Procter & Gamble.
"Alanna is a proven leader who brings strong global perspective on what consumers want and what retailers need,” said Ikdeep Singh, global president of Mars Pet Nutrition. “She understands the massive potential of a well-placed digital experience – positioning us to meet the evolving needs of pet parents for years to come.”
Janelle Orozco. (Courtesy photo)
Kraft Heinz named Janelle Orozco chief procurement officer for North America.
She joins the food company from Diageo, where she rose to chief procurement officer after working at the beverage corporation since 2002.
“We are on a quest to create a renowned procurement function that is built to deliver consistent results today and become a competitive advantage for the business in the future,” said Mars Petcare North American Zone President Carlos Abrams-Rivera, in a statement. "Janelle joining our team is a marker of the transformation of this function."
Neela Montgomery. (Courtesy photo)
Neela Montgomery will join the board of Fetch, the rewards app and consumer engagement platform.
Montgomery brings 20 years of experience, and knowledge of scaling digital ventures in retail. She previously served as president and EVP at CVS Health, leading the pharmacy division during COVID booster distribution. She also oversaw digital transformation as CEO of Crate & Barrel, and spent 12 years with British grocer Tesco. Montgomery additionally serves on the boards of VC firm Greycroft Partners, and tech companies Logitech International and Squarespace.