Mclean, VA — After eight years of what the company calls “unprecedented” growth, Mars, Inc. CEO Grant F. Reid is stepping down. Poul Weihrauch, global president at Mars Petcare, will succeed as CEO, effective from the end of September.
Reid will remain at Mars until the end of the year and has been closely involved in helping ensure a smooth succession. He has served in the role since 2014.
Weihrauch has worked in many parts of the business since joining in 2000 as European brand leader for Snickers. According to the company, he has overseen significant growth and diversification into veterinary health, diagnostics, data and platforms. Weihrauch has also driven significant focus and investment into the Petcare sustainability agenda.
“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve the organization and our 140,000 Mars Associates. This is an incredible company which has consistently demonstrated that doing good is good business. It is that relationship that will ensure we keep delivering sustainable growth and performance,” Weihrauch says. “We live in challenging times but I’m an optimist and I believe in the power of business to have a positive impact and, in particular, the freedom we have at Mars to do the right thing for our associates and the world we operate in.”
Mars Board Chair Frank Mars, paid tribute to Reid’s “extraordinary legacy of fusing performance with purpose, delivering sustainable growth, ramping up the company’s digital capabilities, building its brands, and expanding into new territories like veterinary health, pet services and healthy snacking.” As a result, sales have grown by more than 50 percent to nearly $45 billion under Reid’s tenure and the number of associates had increased from 60,000 to more than 140,000, according to the company.
“While he is too modest to admit it, our significant transformation and record growth as a business would not have happened without Grant’s leadership,” Mars adds. “He has visibly lived our principles and embedded purpose at the heart of our business strategy. The Mars Family are tremendously grateful for his dedication and service. He has been a tower of strength, helping us charter new courses and pushing us beyond what we thought possible. He’s represented Mars on the global stage, particularly around climate change and he has ensured that we are known for acting, not just making commitments.”
Reid says: “It has been a privilege to lead the Mars team and work closely with the Mars Family. We have built on our core strengths and moved into new areas, setting the business up for a brilliant, sustainable future. I’m proud that, in the face of challenges such as a global pandemic, we have never lost sight of our strategic path or our ambition to help create the world we want tomorrow Whether that be challenging ourselves to deliver a truly net zero supply chain, ensuring our most impactful raw materials like palm are deforestation-free or innovating with packaging solutions to help ensure our products do not turn up as waste.”
“Having worked closely with Poul for many years I consider him and his family to be close friends,” Reid adds. “I am very excited about the future of the business under his leadership and congratulate him on his appointment as CEO of this incredible company.”
Reid and Weihrauch have been working together closely for several months to ensure a smooth succession. Reid will represent Mars through the end of 2022, including at events such as UNGA/Climate Week, COP27 and more.
As a result of Weihrauch’s appointment, Mars also released a series of subsequent senior appointments. Loic Moutault, president at Royal Canin, is to become Mars Global Petcare President and Cecile Coutens will take over as Global Royal Canin President.