PepsiCo Beverages & Foods (PBF) named Mary Dillon president of its Quaker Foods business unit. The appointment follows Polly Kawalek's decision to retire from this post, which was announced earlier. Effective immediately, Dillon will report to PBF chairman and CEO Gary Rodkin.
"Mary is an exceptional brand-builder and decision-maker who is poised to continue Polly's legacy and lead Quaker Foods -- its people and its brands -- toward healthy, ongoing growth," Rodkin said. "I also want to thank Polly for 25 great years with the company and wish her all the best as she begins the next chapter of her life. Thanks to her guidance, Quaker Foods is on solid footing, with a clear strategic plan in place."
Dillon previously served Quaker Foods as vice president of marketing -- overseeing brand development, innovation, channel strategy and consumer insights. In this role since 2002, she was responsible for sustaining base businesses, such as Life Cereal, Cap'n Crunch and Aunt Jemima, while leading successful new product launches, including Quaker Oatmeal Breakfast Squares and Honey Graham Life Cereal. Dillon also shepherded the creation and implementation of an in-store "breakfast bundling" program, leveraging the scale and positioning of PBF's Quaker and Tropicana portfolios.
During her nearly 17 years with Quaker, she has worked on a broad range of brands and categories -- from hot cereal, syrup and snacks to beverages, including Gatorade and Propel. In 1996, Dillon began a four-year hiatus to run marketing for Gardenburger Inc. in Portland, Ore. She returned to Quaker in 2000 as Gatorade's vice president of marketing-new offerings. Dillon started her career as a marketing associate with Aunt Jemima in 1984.