In a move that reflects the company’s strategic emphasis, McLean, Va.-based Mars, Inc., has appointed Debra Sandler as chief health and wellbeing officer, a new position in the company. The former president of Mars Chocolate North America “…will lead our Health & Wellbeing platform through collaboration with our segments and by leveraging our significant lessons learned in this space to date, including depth of consumer insights, data and nutritional research within our segments,” says Grant Reid, co-president of Mars, Inc.
To fill the vacancy as a result of Sandler’s appointment, Mars announced that Tracey Massey, chief financial officer of Mars Global Chocolate, would take over as acting president of Mars Chocolate North America.
“When we reorganized into our businesss segments in 2008, we concentrated our health and wellness efforts within those segments to address the diversity of our product portfolios in Chocolate, Petcare, Food, Wrigley, Drinks and Mars Symbioscience,” Reid says in explaining the creation of a chief health and wellbeing officer position.
“Great work has gone on across our businesses under this strategy,” he adds. “This newly created role will help accelerate that progress by creating a comprehensive cross-segment strategy that will drive change across our businesses.”
He points out that Sandler has been “…a change agent in the area of health & wellness, shepherding innovative product options like the lower calorie per pack M&M’S Pretzel variety, demonstrating industry leadership as a member of the Board of the Healthy Weight Commitment and by calling for industry change in her 2013 State of the Industry Speech at the National Confectioner’s Association.”
With regards to Massey’s appointment, Reid extolled her work for the past five years in the company’s global chocolate business sector. “During her time as chocolate cfo, Tracey has demonstrated particular excellence in shaping the vision and strategy, and has led our chocolate growth in emerging markets across the world,” he says. “Tracey has demonstrated a passion for developing associates and is widely recognized as a unifying leader of the cfos across the chocolate business. I have complete confidence that she will transition into this new role brilliantly.”
Sandler joined Mars in 2009 as chief consumer officer for Mars Chocolate North America and was promoted to president of Mars Chocolate North America in 2012. She holds a degree in International Trade from Hofstra University and earned her MBA from New York University. Prior to joining Mars, Sandler served as Worldwide President - McNeil’s Nutritionals, LLC, with Johnson & Johnson. She will report to David Kamenetzky, v.p. - corporate affairs and strategic initiatives, and will work closely with the Mars Leadership Team and the board of directors.
In her 24-year career with Mars, Massey has worked in the United States for 12 years, as a plant director and in business planning for the Mars Petfood business, and more recently as the cfo for the Mars U.S. Snackfood business. Prior to moving to the United States, Tracey held various positions in manufacturing and finance in the Drinks and Electronics division of Mars in Europe. Tracey holds a BSc in chemical engineering from Loughborough University in England and is a qualified management accountant in the UK, accredited through CIMA.
“We are thrilled to appoint Debra and Tracey to these positions,” continues Reid. “Both of these fine leaders bring strong experience and skills to their new roles and both have been valued associates at Mars.