Mars Leadership Changes Focus on Health & Wellbeing

Sandler takes on new role, succeeded by Massey as acting president of Mars Chocolate

Debra Sandler Mars (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Candy)

Debra Sandler

MCLEAN, Va. -- Debra A. Sandler has been named chief health and wellbeing officer for Mars Inc.; Tracey Massey will step up into the position of acting president of Mars Chocolate North America, the role Sandler previously held.

The creation of the chief health and wellbeing officer role is a reflection of the company's focus on helping consumers make informed choices, improving the nutritional value of its portfolio, conducting scientific research into nutrition and working to promote active, healthy lifestyles. This has led to steps including leadership in nutritional labeling, commitment to a 250-calorie cap on single servings of its confectionery products and the development and implementation of the Mars Marketing Code.

"When we reorganized into our business segments in 2008, we concentrated our health and wellness efforts within those segments to address the diversity of our product portfolios in Chocolate, Petcare, Food, Wrigley, Drinks and Mars Symbioscience," said Grant F. Reid, co-president of Mars Inc.. "Great work has gone on across our businesses under this strategy. This newly created role will help accelerate that progress by creating a comprehensive cross-segment strategy that will drive change across our businesses."

He added, "Debra will lead our health and wellbeing platform through collaboration with our segments and by leveraging our significant lessons learned in this space to date, including depth of consumer insights, data and nutritional research within our segments. Debra has been a change agent in the area of health and wellness, shepherding innovative product options like the lower-calorie-per-pack M&M's Pretzel variety, demonstrating industry leadership as a member of the Board of the Healthy Weight Commitment and by calling for industry change in her 2013 State of the Industry Speech at the National Confectioner's Association."

Sandler joined Mars in 2009 as chief consumer officer for Mars Chocolate NA, and the company promoted her to president of Mars Chocolate NA in 2012. Prior to joining Mars, she served as worldwide president for McNeil's Nutritionals LLC, with Johnson & Johnson. She will report to David Kamenetzky, vice president corporate affairs and strategic initiatives.

Massey, CFO of Mars Global Chocolate, has been appointed acting president of Mars Chocolate NA.

"Tracey has done a superb job of leading Strategy & Finance for the global chocolate business for more than five years," said Reid. "During her time as Chocolate CFO, Tracey has demonstrated particular excellence in shaping the vision and strategy, and has led our Chocolate growth in emerging markets across the world. Tracey has demonstrated a passion for developing associates and is widely recognized as a unifying leader of the CFOs across the Chocolate business. I have complete confidence that she will transition into this new role brilliantly," said Reid.

The portfolio of brands in Mars Chocolate North America include M&M's, Snickers, Milky Way, Twix, 3 Musketeers and Dove in North America. Massey's leadership also encompasses Munch, Combos, Kudos, Marathon and Dove Chocolate Discoveries in the United States.

In her 24-year career with Mars, Massey has worked in the United States for 12 years as a plant director and in business planning for the Mars Petfood business, and more recently as the CFO for the Mars U.S. Snackfood business. Before that, she held various positions in manufacturing and finance in the Drinks and Electronics division of Mars in Europe.

Mars Chocolate North America, Hackettstown, N.J., is the North American chocolate operations of Mars Inc. McLean, Va.-based Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Petcare and Symbioscience.