Aug 30, 2012 • By

Company meeting focuses on growth

Wednesday, General Mills held its employee meeting at the James Ford Bell Technical Center near company headquarters. Employees attended live, or via video at our offices around the world.

Chairman and CEO Ken Powell kicked off the meeting, setting the agenda for a theme that focused on the future growth plans for the company.

“We’re paying very close attention to our core brands that get us home year in and year out. We also have a high number of high quality new products, and we’re continuing our global expansion,” Ken said.

He added, “We’re in a time of great change. Now more than ever, the answer is innovation,” said Ken. “Innovation is the key to our growth in this era.”

Also speaking yesterday were Ian Friendly, executive vice president and chief operating officer, U.S. Retail; Chris O’Leary, executive vice president and chief operating officer, International; and Mark Addicks, senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Mark used his presentation to tie together the rich history of the company’s innovation, to the current social marketplace for our products, and how we reach consumers in digital channels.

“We know our consumers want to have remarkable experiences,” said Mark. “General Mills has always been a future-oriented company, and where we take inspiration for that is in remarkable products from the past.”

Mark said Betty Crocker, for example, was the first truly social brand in the 1920s. Betty Crocker began as a pen name in 1921 to personalize responses to the company’s consumer inquiries about Gold Medal Flour. At the height of her popularity, Betty Crocker received as many as 5,000 letters every day, and she answered nearly every one. Today, Betty connects with consumers through her own iPhone and iPad Apps, Facebook, Pinterest, and many other digital tools for recipe ideas.

Mark told employees it’s important to find meaningful ways to put our brands into the daily conversations consumers have about their meal planning and food choices.

Ken ended the company meeting by saluting General Mills employees for their commitment to working to fuel the company’s growth and performance, and our mission of Nourishing Lives.

“It’s an honor to work with every single one of you, here and around the world, every day,” said Ken.