General Mills Inc. announced vice chairman Ray Viault will retire from General Mills October 1, 2004. Viault has had overall responsibility for four General Mills' operating divisions including Meals, Pillsbury USA, Baking Products and Bakeries & Foodservice, as well as serving on the supervisory board of Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW), General Mills' joint venture with Nestle.
Viault joined General Mills as vice chairman in 1996 with oversight for the international businesses and companywide financial activities. In 1998, his operating responsibilities were significantly expanded to include many of the company's domestic retail divisions. With the announcement of the Pillsbury acquisition in mid-2001, Viault was named to lead the planning for the integration of the two companies. Prior to joining General Mills, Viault had a 20-year career with Kraft General Foods, last serving as chief executive officer of Kraft Jacobs Suchard, based in Switzerland. He was responsible for its businesses throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, generating combined annual sales in excess of $10 billion.
In a related move, Ken Powell has been elected a General Mills executive vice president, effective August 16, 2004. Powell will report to chairman and CEO Steve Sanger and will be responsible for General Mills' Meals, Pillsbury USA, Baking Products and the Bakeries & Foodservice divisions. Most recently, Powell has been chief executive officer of CPW. Prior to being named head of CPW in 1999, Powell had served in a variety of leadership positions at General Mills, including president of the Big G cereal division and president of the Yoplait-Colombo division. Powell joined General Mills in 1979.
Powell will be succeeded by Ian Friendly who has been appointed chief executive officer of CPW. Since 2002, Friendly has served as president of the Big G cereal division. Prior to that, he was president of Yoplait USA for four years. From 1994 to 1998, Friendly was responsible for CPW operations in Latin America, Asia, Middle East and its export business. Friendly joined General Mills in 1983.
Peter Capell has been named president of the Big G cereal division. Capell has served as president of General Mills' Snacks Unlimited division for the past seven years. He joined General Mills in 1985.
Kim Nelson has been named president of Snacks Unlimited. Nelson joined General Mills 15 years ago and was named a vice president in 1999. Since 2002, she held director responsibilities for the Family Dinners unit of the Meals division.
General Mills named Juliana Chugg currently vice president and managing director in Australia, president of General Mills' Baking Products division. She succeeds Dave Homer, who is moving to Australia to serve as vice president and managing director of General Mills' international businesses in Australia and New Zealand. Both will assume their new responsibilities August 16.