August 9/Hackettstown, N.J./Press Release -- Mars Chocolate North America announced that Rick LaBerge has joined the company as vice president of sales. In his new role leading the Mars Chocolate Sales organization, LaBerge oversees the strategy and execution of its retail management, customer account teams, field sales and customer development. He serves as a member of the Mars senior management team and will play an active role in industry events.

LaBerge joins Mars from Johnson & Johnson (J&J) where he most recently served as the general manager-Walmart Global Cross Functional team for the Consumer Products segment.  In this role, he oversaw a complex mix of brands and segments across the consumer sector representing $1.6 billion in sales.

In his 20+ years with J&J, LaBerge has held a variety of sales positions with progressive responsibility in J&J Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals, McNeil Consumer Health Care and Nutritionals and in J&J Consumer Products.  Prior to his general manager role, LaBerge served as vice president, OTC Medicine Customer Marketing for McNeil Consumer Healthcare from 2011 to 2012 and as vice president of U.S. Field Sales from 2009 to 2011.