CHICAGO — Mars Wrigley has appointed Cathryn Sleight (pictured) to the newly expanded role of global chief growth officer. This position will lead Mars Wrigley’s global marketing, innovation, insights and analytics together with the business development agenda for the segment.
Sleight, currently serving as president of global business development and reporting to Mars Wrigley Global President Andrew Clarke, broadens her position to assume end-to-end responsibility for global category growth. The transition comes upon Berta de Pablos Barbier’s personal decision to step down from her current role as global chief growth officer to pursue an international move after a successful 18-year career with Mars.
“I’m delighted to expand Cathryn’s [responsibilities] and bring together the critical core capabilities required to deliver category growth. She will continue to drive excellence in how we utilize our global reach, iconic brands and brilliant associates to build the category and evolve how brands connect with consumers,” said Clarke. “We will miss Berta’s energy and authentic leadership. She and her team have made important contributions to Mars Wrigley’s ambition to create the future of treating and snacking, galvanizing the marketing function by bringing growth levers and capabilities together with innovation and insights.”
Since joining Mars in August 2019, Sleight has been a member of the Mars Wrigley leadership team, sharpening the company’s business development and reinvention strategy, the company said.
“I was first attracted to Mars as a purpose-led, principles-driven business. Working with some of the world’s biggest and most-loved brands that I’ve grown up with, with such a talented team of associates and partners is a huge privilege,” she said. “Treating and snacking is a vibrant and expansive category with tremendous growth potential. The opportunity to strengthen the legacy of our brands, continuing to make them relevant for today’s occasions and inspire more smiles across the globe is a great brief.”
Prior to joining Chicago-based Mars, Sleight had established a 30-plus year marketing career at major multinational food and beverage companies including The Coca-Cola Co. and Unilever, where she led the global food category as executive vice president, spending nearly a decade developing and executing global brand renovation and innovation agendas and leading strategies to identify M&A and new category growth opportunities.
To ensure a smooth transition, Barbier will leave Mars Wrigley at the end of September after a career that began as a research and development intern and spanned four continents, six countries and various functional and business leadership positions including her most recent role as global chief growth officer.