Michael Polk takes helm at Newell Rubbermaid
ATLANTA — Former Unilever executive Michael Polk has been appointed president and CEO of Newell Rubbermaid, effective July 18. He succeeds Mark Ketchum, who is retiring but will remain a director until May 2012.
Ketchum announced in January his intention to retire after being recruited from the board five years ago to lead Newell Rubbermaid through its transformation into a marketing-driven company.
Polk most recently served as president of global foods, home and personal care at Unilever, where he was responsible for the development, innovation and marketing of Unilever’s entire $64 billion portfolio of categories and brands. During his eight years at Unilever, he is credited with transforming the company’s business in the Americas and, in his latest role, sharpening Unilever¹s portfolio strategy and creating a more competitive, faster growing, innovation-driven organization. Polk has been a member of the Unilever executive board since 2007.
"Mike is an outstanding marketer, innovator and leader with a proven record of growing global brands, driving change, and delivering superior financial performance," said Michael Cowhig, chairman of Newell Rubbermaid’s board of directors. "He is the right leader at the right time to build on Newell Rubbermaid’s successful transformation and accelerate our global growth."
"I am honored to be joining Newell Rubbermaid as president and CEO," Polk said. "The company has a strong portfolio of brands and an excellent leadership team with a great opportunity to win in both the developed and emerging markets. In a very challenging environment, Mark and his team have strengthened the company and positioned us for growth. I am very excited about writing the next chapter of the Newell Rubbermaid story and look forward to the challenge of unlocking the full potential of the company."
Before joining Unilever, Polk spent 16 years at Kraft Foods. His last two positions at Kraft were president, Asia Pacific region, Kraft Foods International and president, Nabisco biscuit and snacks, Kraft Foods North America. In both positions, Polk served on Kraft’s Management Committee. Prior to Kraft, Polk spent three years at Procter & Gamble working in manufacturing and research and development in the paper products division.
Polk has been a member of Newell Rubbermaid’s board since 2009 and is a member of the audit committee.
Adrian Beltre joins Walmart, Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program for initiative
NEW YORK — Walmart is working with Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program to create a new initiative that offers free dental screenings and oral health education to children in need living in the Dallas area.
To kick off the “Building Smiles Together” initiative, Colgate and Walmart tapped Major League Baseball third baseman Adrian Beltre to appear at the Walmart Supercenter in Grand Prairie, Texas, on June 27. Colgate said its Bright Smiles, Bright Futures mobile dental vans, staffed by Dallas-based volunteer dentists, also will be on-site to provide free dental screenings, oral health education, treatment referrals and a “Building Smiles Together” kit that includes educational materials and a free toothbrush and toothpaste for children ages 1 to 12 years.
“Growing up, my parents made sure to teach me the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and gums and I do the same with my children,” Beltre said. “I am happy to be a part of Walmart and Colgate’s ‘Building Smiles Together’ initiative since it gives me the opportunity to help improve the oral health of Dallas-area children, educate [them] about healthy oral care habits and encourage them to strike out cavities for a lifetime of healthy smiles.”
In line with the program kickoff, Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures and Walmart have launched BuildingSmilesTogether.com, an interactive site where families can access oral health resources, informational videos and engaging games to help encourage children to care for themselves by practicing proper, healthy habits. What’s more, the companies are offering a free, trial-sized children’s toothpaste to all families who visit the website on June 27.
Mr. Bubble lathers up consumers with new products
CHASKA, Minn. — Mr. Bubble, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year, has announced the launch of two new products: Mr. Bubble Fizzy Bubble Bomb and the Mr. Bubble Foam Soap twin pack.
Shaped like the Mr. Bubble character, the original Bubble- or Bubbleberry-scent Bath Bombs add bubbles and color to bath water. They are available in pink and blue. The mixed shelf display holds 12 fizzy Bubble Bombs. They have a suggested retail price of $1.49 each.
The new Mr. Bubble Foam Soap twin-pack features two 8-oz. cans: one of the new Bubbleberry-scent Foam Soap and one of the original Bubble-scent Foam Soap. The thick foam soap comes in pink or bright blue. The twin-pack has a suggested retail price of $4.99.