MINNEAPOLIS Steve Sanger stepped down as chief executive officer of General Mills Monday and will be succeeded by Kendall Powell, the company’s president and chief operations officer. Sanger, who served as General Mills chairman and chief executive officer for more than 12 years, will continue as chairman to the end of the current fiscal year in May 2008.
“The board and I have great confidence that Ken [Powell] will be an outstanding chief executive officer of General Mills,” said Sanger. “Ken’s commitment to our culture and the development of our people make him uniquely qualified to lead General Mills in the next phase of our long-term growth.”
Sanger’s record will be a tough act to follow for Powell, who noted that since Sanger became chief executive officer in 1995, company sales have more than doubled to exceed $12 billion in fiscal 2007 and return to shareholders averaged 10 percent compounded annually over the period. Powell, himself, has held a number of management assignments over his 28-year career with General Mills, most recently as president and COO of the company in June 2006.
“It has been a great privilege for me to serve as Chief Executive Officer of General Mills,” Sanger said, “and I look forward to seeing General Mills continue to grow and prosper in the years ahead.”