General Mills Chairman and CEO Jeff Harmening has been tapped to lead the board of a prominent grocery industry trade group.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) late last week announced that Harmening has been elected chairman of its board.
As chairman, Harmening takes the place of Vivek Sankaran, a former PepsiCo executive who went on to become CEO of grocery company Albertsons Cos.
Harmening’s appointment comes as GMA rolls out a “major transformation,” association officials say in a news release. Part of the transformation will involve establishing a “distinct purpose and mission,” GMA president and CEO Geoff Freeman wrote in a blog post published earlier this year.
Freeman also said GMA’s agenda “must shift to reflect the priorities of our member companies’ top leaders.”
Before becoming chair of GMA’s board, Harmening served on the board since 2017. He and Land O’Lakes Inc. president and CEO Beth Ford are the sole Minneapolis-based business leaders to serve on the GMA’s board.
“Jeff has already been a tremendous asset as a member of GMA’s Board of Directors, and I know he’ll be an excellent partner as chairman,” Freeman says in a statement. “During his 25-year career at General Mills, Jeff has developed a keen understanding of the [consumer packaged goods] industry and his guidance and counsel will be invaluable as we continue to reimagine GMA.”
Harmening was promoted to General Mills’ CEO two years ago.