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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:
CEO succession at Cargill
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.
Ahold Delhaize USA will have a new CEO
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.
Kodiak Cakes appoints new CEO, founders move to board
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.
Mars Petcare names North American nutrition head
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.”
Kraft Heinz names North American CPO
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."
Fetch Rewards names board member
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.
Trending in Careers
LadderUp is aiming for 50% LGBTQ+ and BIPOC participation. Shopify will provide access to its platform.
Shipt is launching a new accelerator program designed to provide ecommerce tools for local retailers.Called LadderUp, the program is centered on equity. Target-owned delivery owned Shipt said conversations with business owners have revealed that local entrepreneurs face “gaps” in technology, but they also want to participate in ecommerce platforms. The COVID-19 pandemic was especially difficult for Black business owners, who saw earnings drop between 11-28% in 2019-2020, as compared to the earnings decrease of 5-17% for the rest of the population.
With the new program, the company’s goal is to reach at least 50% LGBTQ+ and BIPOC participation in the program.
Shipt is aiming to serve businesses in Atlanta, Birmingham, Alabama, Detroit, Houston and Washington, D.C.
Target categories include: grocery/beverage, health, beauty, and floral/gifts retailers.
“Working with small businesses to build up their capabilities is a key part of our commitment to help create healthier, more resilient and equitable communities,” said CEO Kamau Witherspoon. “We recognize the unique role that we can play in both combating hunger in under-resourced communities and boosting small, local retailers that are so vital to communities across our country.”
What will entrepreneurs receive?
Education: Business owners who are selected will receive an 8-week course with industry leaders that covers business-building topics including finances, efficiency, marketing, ecommerce 101, the basics of using Shipt, and legal knowledge.
Funding: Upon completion, retailers will provide $5,000 for businesses to invest in ecommerce.
Shopify access: Shopify, which is partnering with Shipt, is also providing to its access for a limited amount of time to help business owners build an online storefront and manage inventory. The program will also provide technical assistance.Applications are open Feb. 6- March 6.