General Mills Appoints Company Veteran To President
General Mills on Thursday appointed Jeffrey Harmening, a 22-year veteran of the company, to be its president and chief operating officer.
Harmening, 49, was the Golden Valley-based food conglomerate’s executive vice president and chief operating officer of U.S. retail for the past two years. Harmening oversaw General Mills’ domestic market, which currently makes up $10 billion of its $17.6 billion in annual revenue.
He joined the company in 1994, immediately after earning his MBA from Harvard University. In his early years, Harmening served in various marketing roles at General Mills' Betty Crocker, Yoplait and Big G cereals divisions. The company credits him for the successful launch of Berry Burst Cheerios.
His background with cereals also extends to leadership positions at Cereal Partners Worldwide, a joint venture between General Mills and Switzerland-based NestlÃ©. Harmening was CEO of the partnership business for two years.
By taking over as president of General Mills, Harmening is (historically speaking) next in line to become CEO, the Star Tribune notes. Before becoming CEO, Ken Powell was hired as president of General Mills in 2006. Prior to that, Steve Sanger held the role of president until his appointment to CEO in 1995.
Harmening will take over his new role on July 1. General Mills said it would announce his successor at a later date.