Chicago — Mars Wrigley is appointing Gülen Bengi global chief growth officer, starting on October 3. Bengi succeeds Cathryn Sleight who, following a successful 30+ year global marketing career, has decided to take a step back from full-time work to explore plural opportunities.
“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Mars Wrigley, an inspiring, purpose led company with its generational thinking guided by its belief that ‘the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today,’” Bengi comments. “I am especially excited to be joining at such a pivotal time for the business. Cathryn and the talented Mars team have set a strong foundation. Now it will be our job to continue building the business and taking our iconic brands and categories to the next level.”
Sleight’s departure concludes the most recent chapter in an almost four-decade full-time career at major multinational food and beverage companies including The Coca-Cola Co. and Unilever. During her time at those companies, she led the Global Food Category as EVP, spending nearly a decade developing and executing global brand renovation and innovation agendas and leading strategies to identify M&A and new category growth opportunities. Sleight, who joined Mars in 2019 and played an active role in the process to hire her successor, will stay on through December, partnering with Bengi to complete the transition.
“We are grateful to Cathryn for her exceptional and versatile leadership,” says Andrew Clarke, global president of Mars Wrigley. “In the face of uncertainty and disruption, she helped Mars regain share growth momentum by powering our brands with meaningful purpose, building digital capabilities, gaining availability in fast-growing channels and delivering cutting edge innovation. Her ambition and contributions to our business and brands will have a lasting impact.”
Reflecting on her career and transformative tenure at Mars, Sleight adds: “It has been a privilege of a lifetime to help grow this amazing business with some of the world’s best-loved brands. While I look forward to rebalancing my personal and corporate life, I will miss the Mars team dearly and will always follow these iconic brands. I congratulate Gülen on this fantastic opportunity to help shape the future of treating and snacking.”