General Mills hires senior Coke marketer Pollard as global CMO

Food company General Mills has appointed Coca-Cola vice-president, strategic marketing Ivan Pollard as its new global chief marketing officer.

Ivan Pollard: joins General Mills next month
Ivan Pollard: joins General Mills next month

Pollard will report to chief executive Jeff Harmening and take responsibility for establishing the company's first global marketing and media planning function. He starts on 10 July.

The role was announced last year as part of a shakeup in the business. Ann Simonds, previously chief marketing officer for General Mills’ US business, left last December.

Pollard has been at Coca-Cola since January 2011. Before that, he spent five years as group partner at Naked Communications, the latest in a string of agency roles that began in 1987 at Boase Massimi Pollitt, the agency that later became DDB London. He also worked for Wieden & Kennedy, Unity and The Ingram Partnership.

During his time at Coca-Cola, Pollard was responsible for finding ways to deploy the drinks giant’s $2bn (£1.6bn) global media spend more effectively. In North America, he introduced new data-driven approaches to areas including media, sponsorships, and content creation.

Harmening said: "Ivan's diverse global experience brings us a fresh perspective on our brands and a deep understanding of how to operationalise integrated, modern marketing in the digital age.

"We have tremendous opportunities to unlock global growth by improving the effectiveness of our marketing efforts and our teams are eager to build on the work they have started."

Pollard said he had chosen to join General Mills because of "the good I see them doing in the world and the untapped opportunities I see for business growth".

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