Michael Fanuele Leaving as General Mills’ Chief Creative Officer

Michael Fanuele Leaving as General Mills’ Chief Creative Officer

His exit marks the second major executive to leave the food company in several months.

General Mills is losing another member of its C-suite as Michael Fanuele, its chief creative officer, announced his departure in an internal memo sent out Tuesday.

Ad Age published segments of the memo in which Fanuele said his plans are to finish a book he’s writing and take up a job teaching.

General Mills confirmed Fanuele’s plan to exit, saying in a statement, “We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Ann Simonds, the Golden Valley-based food company’s chief marketing officer, left at the end of last year. Both Fanuele and Simonds had joined General Mills in 2014 and led an extensive agency review process last year that ended with a change-up of the primary and preferred agencies it taps for U.S. advertising projects.

Moving forward, under the guidance of Fanuele and Simonds, agencies must employ at least 50 percent women and 20 percent people of color in their creative department to be eligible to work with General Mills.

In his memo, Fanuele told fellow General Mills staffers that he was grateful for the opportunity to “run an agency review based on our company values that instigated an industry-wide discussion about the power of creative diversity.”

Prior to working at General Mills, Fanuele had worked at agencies in New York and London. His last position before joining General Mills was a nearly 4-year stint as chief strategy officer at Fallon, an advertising agency based in Minneapolis.

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