Wrigley Names First Non-Family President, CEO

Perez assumes roles as Bill Wrigley Jr. elected full-time executive chairman

CHICAGO -- The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. has announced the election of William D. Perez, 59, as president, CEO and a member of the company's board. Bill Wrigley Jr., who had been serving as chairman, president and CEO, has been elected to the new full-time role of executive chairman while also continuing his responsibilities as chairman.

The appointment of Bill Perez to be the first person to serve as president and CEO of the Wrigley Co. from outside the family is indeed an historic and important milestone, said Bill Wrigley Jr. Bill is an exceptionally talented [image-nocss] and well-qualified executive who honed his leadership skills in a highly successful, professionally managed family company environment. He is a terrific fit with our company and our culture and he has an impressive track record of building global brands, leading consumer-driven innovation and inspiring employees.

In his new role, Bill Wrigley Jr. will be actively engaged in the development of long-term strategy, continued emphasis on innovation and fostering a culture of high performance and generational growth, the company said. This new role also will give him a greater opportunity to focus on growth strategies.

To continue to effectively drive our dynamic and highly competitive global company, I firmly believe this is the right time to divide the top leadership responsibilities between two people, particularly given today's commercial and governance climate, said Bill Wrigley Jr. This approach will enable us to divide and conquer the many responsibilities inherent in running this organization and further leverage our many competitive advantages.

Perez's career began in 1970 as a sales representative in Cleveland for SC Johnson. He served as general manager of the company's operations in Iberia, vice president and regional director of consumer products in Latin America, vice president of the U.S. home care business and executive vice president of consumer products for North America. He was named SC Johnson's president and COO in 1993 and served as president and CEO from 1996 to 2004. Perez served as president and CEO of Nike Inc. from 2004 to until earlier this year.