Mars Leadership Succession: Grant F. Reid Prepares to Hand Over CEO Reins

Poul Weihrauch will take on role from end of September.
License Global

June 24, 2022

Poul Weihrauch.Mars

Grant F. Reid, chief executive officer,

Mars

, has decided to retire after more than eight years in the role and 34 years in the business. Under his leadership, Mars has seen unprecedented growth and transformation combined with a focus on sustainability and purpose and significant expansion into newer areas including veterinary health services. Poul Weihrauch, current global president, Mars Petcare, will succeed as chief executive officer at the end of September. 

Reid, who will remain with Mars until the end of the year, informed the board of his decision to leave 18 months ago and has worked with the board to ensure a smooth and orderly succession.  

Frank Mars, chair, Mars board, paid tribute to Reid's "extraordinary legacy," highlighting his countless achievements – fusing performance with purpose, delivering sustainable growth, ramping up Mars digital capabilities, building its iconic brands and expanding into newer territories like veterinary health, pet services and healthy snacking.

As a result, Mars said, sales had grown by more than 50% to nearly $45B under Reid's tenure and the number of associates had increased from 60,000 to more than 140,000. 

"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,” says Mars. “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.” 

"It has been a privilege to lead the Mars team and work closely with the Mars family,” says Reid. “We have built on our core strengths and moved into new areas, setting the business up for a brilliant, sustainable future."                                   

Reid and Weihrauch have been working together closely for several months to ensure a smooth and orderly succession that maintains the considerable business momentum. Reid will continue to represent Mars until the end of 2022, including at critical events such as UNGA/Climate Week, COP27 and more. 

Weihrauch has worked in many parts of the business since joining in 2000 as European brand leader, Snickers. Having led the Mars Food business, he became president, global petcare in 2014 and, during that time, has overseen significant growth and diversification into veterinary health, diagnostics, data and platforms, doubling the size of the business. Weihrauch has also driven significant focus and investment into the Petcare sustainability agenda. 

"I have known Poul for 22 years, working closely with him for the last 10, and I know that he will be a wonderful leader for the next stage of our evolution,” says Mars. "He is known for his inspirational and inclusive leadership style, for growing businesses and renovating brands and for his deep commitment to associate engagement and development." 

"I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve the organization and our 140,000 Mars associates,” says Weihrauch. “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.” 

As a result of Weihrauch's appointment, Mars has announced a series of subsequent senior appointments. Loic Moutault, president, Royal Canin, is to become president, Mars Global Petcare, and Cecile Coutens will take over as president, Global Royal Canin. 

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