General Mills CEO Ken Powell leaves post at short notice

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After almost ten years on the job
  • Laud and praise for Powell
  • Jeff Harmening taking over
  • Powell will remain as Chairman at General Mills
  • Powell spoke briefly and said 39 words

 (exechange) — Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 03, 2017 — Ken Powell, chief executive of General Mills, leaves the position. It is a change at short notice. As announced by General Mills, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, May 03, 2017, Kendall J. (Ken) Powell leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the food company after almost ten years on the job, effective June 01, 2017.

Powell’s duties are taken over by Jeff Harmening, currently Chief Operating Officer at General Mills, Inc.

“Delivering top-tier returns that our shareholders have counted on for generations”

A reason for the imminent change was not explicitly given. Powell said: “General Mills has a long tradition of delivering top-tier returns that our shareholders have counted on for generations. We are focused on growth and feel strongly that Jeff is the right leader for the next leg of our journey.”

Powell will remain as Chairman at General Mills

Powell will continue to serve as the company’s Chairman for a transition period until his retirement, expected within the next year.


General Mills said: “Harmening succeeds Ken Powell.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of General Mills, Inc. since September 2016.

On the job as CEO since 2007

Kendall J. Powell has been the Chief Executive Officer of General Mills Inc. since September 24, 2007 and served as its President since May 2006.

Ken Powell is chairman and chief executive officer of General Mills, which as one of the world’s largest food companies, produces and markets leading brands such as Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Green Giant, Nature Valley and Yoplait.

Powell joined General Mills in 1979 and progressed through various positions in the company.

He has spent more than a third of his career outside the United States, and in 1990 helped launch Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW) – the company’s joint venture with Nestlé based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

In 1996, he returned to the United States to become president of Yoplait USA, and was named president of the General Mills Big G cereal division in 1997.

Powell returned to Switzerland in 1999 to become chief executive officer of CPW, helping grow the joint venture into what is now a $2 billion global cereal business marketing in more than 130 countries around the world.

In 2006, Powell was elected president and chief operating officer of General Mills with overall global operating responsibility for the company.

He was elected chief executive officer in September 2007 and chairman in May 2008.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Ken Powell’s imminent move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 19.2017 ($).