Mars Gets New Head of R&D

Sept. 10, 2020
Mars Inc. has named a new chief of R&D, who will replace a 34-year company veteran.

Mars Inc. has named a new chief of R&D, who will replace a 34-year company veteran.

Maria Velissariou will join the company Sept. 13 as global corporate research & development vice president and chief science officer. Velissariou was most recently chief science and technology officer for the Institute of Food Technologists. She also had R&D positions at PepsiCo and Kraft Foods. She also currently serves on the board of directors of the Chicago Council for Science and Technology and is a member of the Women Business Collaborative leaders' circle.

She will partner with David Crean, Mars’ current head of R&D, until Crean’s retirement, scheduled for next April. During Crean’s 34-year employment at Mars, he developed novel analytical techniques, established global technology and research platforms, and produced many product and business innovations, according to a company announcement.

"With global population growth and increase of supply chain complexities, I'm motivated by the legacy of resource, reach, and commitment of Mars to make a meaningful impact on the food industry," Velissariou said in a statement. "As such, I'm honored and excited to join Mars and its dynamic community of associates to build upon their momentum of positively disrupting the industry to stay relevant with consumers while ensuring the best-in-class quality and food safety practices."

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