Newell Rubbermaid has appointed Christopher O’Leary, executive vice president and chief operating officer, international of General Mills to the company’s board of directors. O’Leary will serve on Newell Rubbermaid’s Nominating/Governance and Organizational Development & Compensation committees, raising the total number of directors to thirteen.
With more than twenty years of consumer products industry experience, O’Leary is a well-respected and accomplished marketing and operational executive. As chief operating officer, international, O’Leary oversees General Mills’ businesses in over 100 countries around the world, comprised of iconic brands such as Pillsbury, Cheerios, Betty Crocker and Häagen-Dazs. Under his leadership, General Mills International has expanded to become a significant source of growth for General Mills over the last five years, with sales outside the U.S. almost doubling in size over that timeframe. Today fully one-third of General Mills’ sales are now outside the U.S. As a result of recent acquisitions, such as Yoplait and Yoki, General Mills’ sales outside the U.S. total more than $6 billion dollars, including the company’s proportionate share of joint ventures.
Prior to his appointment to chief operating officer, international, O’Leary served as president of the Meals division, president of the Betty Crocker division and vice president of Corporate Development at General Mills. Before joining General Mills, O’Leary spent 17 years at PepsiCo, Inc., last serving as president and chief executive officer of the Hostess Frito-Lay business in Canada.
“Chris’s consumer products and strategic experience will add a unique perspective to the Board to help drive our Growth Game Plan into action,” said Michael Cowhig, chairman of the Newell Rubbermaid Board of Directors. “I believe he will be an extremely valuable resource to the company and we look forward to his contributions.”
“We are delighted Chris has joined the Board,” said Michael Polk, president and CEO of Newell Rubbermaid. “Chris’s perspective on markets around the world coupled with his deep marketing and brand building knowledge will be invaluable to me and my management team as we drive to make Newell Rubbermaid a faster growing, more profitable, and more global company.”