Mars appoints Whirlpool exec to new strategy role as part of “transformation agenda”

Mars Inc. has hired former Whirlpool executive Russell Stokes to the newly-created role of Chief Strategy Officer, as part of the company’s “transformation agenda”.

Stokes will be responsible for overseeing Mars’ enterprise strategy, portfolio strategy and transformation agenda, in an era of industry disruption.

“In today’s dynamic business landscape, change and uncertainty is the new norm and companies have to be relevant, consumer-focused and agile,” Mars chief financial officer Claus Aagaard said.

“Russell will bring a depth of knowledge and experience to define and enable our growth plans in the current environment, with a view for the long-term, while helping us continue to create products and services that our customers and consumers love.”

Stokes joins Mars from Whirlpool Corporation, where he was the head of Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions, and a member of the company’s Executive Committee.

He will play a pivotal role in ensuring that the company continues to innovate in the face of new competition, changing consumer trends and retail environment.

“Mars is a unique company with a rich family history and values-driven legacy,” Stokes said in a statement from Mars.

“Not only has their culture of growth made them successful – preserving and growing iconic brands like M&M’s, Extra, Pedigree and Uncle Ben’s, while also building the world’s biggest veterinary health group – they have kept their principles at the core of their decision-making. I’m thrilled to join the business at a time when it continues to reinvent itself.”

Stokes will be based in McLean, Va., and will report to Aagaard.

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