Paul S. Michaels, president of Mars, Inc. since 2004, recently informed the Mars board of directors of his plan to retire on Dec. 31, 2014. The company announced that Grant F. Reid, current global president of Mars Chocolate, has been named by the Mars board of directors to take over the office of the president on Jan. 2, 2015.
"In his almost 11 years at the helm of Mars, Inc., Paul has overseen a period of outstanding business performance and tremendous achievement. He also built up the talent of the company while strengthening the visible presence of our Five Principles -- Quality, Efficiency, Responsibility, Mutuality and Freedom -- in the way we operate," said Victoria B. Mars, chairman of the Mars board of directors, in a prepared statement. "It's because of his focus on nurturing leaders who are both talented and principled, that we have such a strong internal successor in the business. We are proud and excited that Grant, a 26-year veteran of the business, and a member of the Mars leadership team since 2007, will be our next president."
As global president of Mars Chocolate, one of Mars' biggest business segments, Reid leads more than 17,000 associates. The chocolate portfolio has some of the world's best-loved consumer brands including M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY® and TWIX®. In the last five years, Reid has successfully led the chocolate business to deliver consistent growth in mature and emerging markets, and built an excellent and diverse team of leaders. In addition, he has been a champion of industry efforts to collaborate on the issue of cocoa sustainability. In particular, he has grown the Mars' Sustainable Cocoa Initiative, which puts 'farmers first' in its efforts to increase sustainable farming practices and crop productivity – in turn helping farmers improve their wages and their ability to give their families a chance for better opportunities for education and a more prosperous future.
Reid will step into a co-office of the president role effective July 2. He'll then have the time to partner with Michaels on transition plans before taking on the role of president of Mars formally in January 2015.
"I'm grateful to the board of directors for giving me this opportunity and proud to have been chosen as the next president of Mars, Inc. Mars has always encouraged and provided opportunity for growth and development of Associates, and I am certainly living proof of that fact," said Reid. "I believe in the Mars culture, I love the Mars brands and I know that we have the best associates in the world. We have a truly exciting future and I'm honored to lead the organization into that future."
Reid's diverse experience across the business gives him both historical perspective and a broad view of the way Mars operates. He has worked across multiple functions including sales, marketing, commercial, manufacturing and general management as well as several Mars business segments.
He has a degree in Management Economics, as well as a Certificate in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.