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Reports: Coca-Cola taps Lewis as new SVP marketing

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA — The president of Coca-Cola subsidiary Odwalla will step into a new role next month, according to published reports.

Alison Lewis will become Coca-Cola’s SVP marketing, replacing Beatriz Perez, who was promoted to chief sustainability officer at the company in May.

In her new role, Lewis will oversee integrated marketing communications, multicultural marketing and consumer and shopper insights, according to reports.

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Mars’ Snickers brand teams with Feeding America, comedian Jim Gaffigan to ‘Bar Hunger’

BY Rozanne Gelbinovich

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — Mars Chocolate North America announced that its Snickers brand is continuing its partnership with Feeding America to help "Bar Hunger." Comedian Jim Gaffigan was selected to champion the cause.

Through the campaign, Snickers will help provide the equivalent of up to 3.5 million meals to Feeding America and will educated consumers to help.

To help raise awareness, Gaffigan has pledged to go joke free through the weekend. "Over the years, I’ve made jokes about eating and food," Gaffigan said. "But the fact that 50 million Americans — or 1-in-6 of our neighbors — don’t always know where their next meal might come from is not funny; it’s truly sad."

"Hunger continues to be a real and growing problem in America," added Debra Sandler, chief consumer officer at Mars Chocolate North America. "We hope this campaign can make a real difference in raising awareness and helping provide the resources for Feeding America to support those in need."

Consumers can get involved by texting the code from specially marked Snickers bars to 45495 or by entering the code online at Snickers.com. For every code texted or entered through Oct. 23, Snickers will help provide two meals to Feeding America.

For more information, visit Snickers.com or Facebook.com/Snickers.

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Ralcorp Holdings to split into two companies

BY Gail Hoffer

ST. LOUIS — Ralcorp Holdings announced that its board of directors has unanimously agreed in principle to separate Ralcorp and Post Foods in a tax-free spinoff to Ralcorp shareholders.

The company said it expects to complete the separation in approximately four to six months, following the receipt of an Internal Revenue Service tax ruling and/or satisfactory legal opinion as to the tax-free nature of the transaction, final approval by the Ralcorp board of directors and other customary conditions. The transaction does not require approval from Ralcorp shareholders. 

Upon completion of the transaction, Ralcorp shareholders will hold shares of two stand-alone, publicly traded companies: Ralcorp and Post Foods.

"The board has been carefully evaluating tax-free separation alternatives for some time," said William Stiritz, chairman of Ralcorp. "We firmly believe the separation of Post Foods from Ralcorp by way of a tax-free spin-off will unlock significant value for our shareholders. As independent companies, both Ralcorp and Post Foods will be better positioned to focus on strategies specific to their particular businesses, thereby improving the opportunities to deliver increasing shareholder value."

In response to Ralcorp’s announcement, ConAgra Foods, which reportedly offered to buy Ralcorp for $4.9 billion, issued the following statement: "We have seen the announcement from Ralcorp and we believe our proposed acquisition of all of Ralcorp continues to be in the best interests of their shareholders."

Upon completion of the separation, Stiritz will serve as chairman of Post Foods and Patrick Mulcahy, who has been appointed vice chairman of Ralcorp, will serve as chairman of Ralcorp. 

The company also announced the following management roles:

  • Dave Skarie, co-CEO and president of Ralcorp, will retire from Ralcorp effective Dec. 31. In the interim period, Skarie will be responsible for leading the separation of Post Foods from Ralcorp.

  • Kevin Hunt, co-CEO and president of Ralcorp, will assume the role of CEO and president of Ralcorp upon completion of the separation.

  • Ron Wilkinson, corporate VP and president of Ralcorp Cereal Products, will continue as corporate VP and president of Ralston Foods and Bloomfield Bakers after the separation. In addition, Wilkinson will work with Skarie on the separation of Post Foods, and he will lead the ongoing transitional relationship between the two companies. After the separation, Wilkinson will report to Hunt.

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