Kincardine-born Mars chief Grant F Reid stepping down as CEO of US household giant

The Scots-born chief executive officer of global brand giant Mars is to hand over the reins after overseeing nearly a decade of unprecedented growth and expansion.

Grant F. Reid, who was born in Kincardine, made a flying visit to his homeland for last year’s COP26 global climate change summit in Glasgow and plans to spend his time campaigning on environmental issues.

He will be replaced in the role from September by Poul Weihrauch, current Global President at Mars Petcare.

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

Mars CEO Grant F Reid outlining his vision for the firm at a leadership summitMars CEO Grant F Reid outlining his vision for the firm at a leadership summit
Mars CEO Grant F Reid outlining his vision for the firm at a leadership summit

Mars Inc is best known for its eponymous bar and has a string of household brands in its portfolio which generate $45 billion in annual sales..

They include Snickers, M&M’s, Dove, Pedigree, Royal Canin and Whiskas as well as specialist pet care products. It is also the firm behind Ben's Original rice, chewing gum and even pet hospitals

Global chairman, Frank Mars said the Stirling University educated Scot had created an “extraordinary” legacy in its approach to climate-related issues.

He added: “We will greatly miss Grant’s principled leadership, his highly collaborative and engaging style and – not least – his dry Scottish sense of humour.

Reid at last year's COP26 in Glasgow
Pic: John DevlinReid at last year's COP26 in Glasgow
Pic: John Devlin
Reid at last year's COP26 in Glasgow Pic: John Devlin

"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. 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.

“He has been a tower of strength, helping us charter new courses and pushing us beyond what we thought possible. He’s represented Mars on the global stage, particularly around climate change, and he has

ensured that we are known for acting, not just making commitments.”

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

future. But the biggest difference we make starts with our 140,000 Associates, the hundreds of communities we operate in, and the billions of consumers we serve.

“I’m proud that, in the face of challenges such as a global pandemic, we have never lost sight of our strategic path or our ambition to help create the world we want tomorrow – and to drive both purpose and

performance. Whether that be challenging ourselves to deliver a truly net zero supply chain, ensuring our most impactful raw materials like palm are deforestation-free, or innovating with packaging solutions to

help ensure our products do not turn up as waste.”

Of his successor, he added: “Having worked closely with Poul for many years I consider him and his family to be close friends. I am very excited about the future of the business under his leadership and congratulate him on his appointment as CEO of this incredible company.”

Reid will represent Mars until the end of 2022 at events including UNGA/Climate Week and COP27.

He then plans to devote more time to champion for climate action, the sustainability agenda, and the broader role for business in society.

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