Business Strategies

General Mills' Jeff Harmening Elected Chairman of Grocery Manufacturers Assn.

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Jun 08, 2019

Jeff Harmening, chairman and CEO of General Mills, was elected chairman of the board of directors for the Grocery Manufacturers Assn. (GMA), the trade organization for consumer packaged goods companies. Benno Dorer, chairman and CEO of Clorox Co., was elected vice-chairman.

Harmening, who has served on the board since 2017, succeeds Vivek Sankaran, who left PepsiCo/Frito-Lay to become CEO of Albertsons. Harmening takes the helm of the 110-year-old trade organization as it undergoes a major transformation to better meet the needs of its member companies and represent the totality of the CPG industry.

Geoff Freeman replaced long-serving CEO Pamela Bailey, in mid-2018. In the 12 months preceding his hiring, 11 of the biggest companies in GMA quit the trade association. While most were circumspect about why they quit, there were hints they felt GMA was getting too political, too defensive on many consumer-facing issues.