Mars names new President for 2015; opens $270 M facility in Kansas

March 31, 2014

Mars Inc. has announced that President Paul Michaels plans to retire on Dec. 31, 2014. The company has announced that Grant F. Reid, current Global President of Mars Chocolate, has been named by the Mars board of directors to take over the Office of the President on Jan. 2, 2015.

As Global President of Mars Chocolate, one of Mars’ biggest business segments, Reid leads more than 17,000 associates. The Chocolate portfolio’s brands include M&M’S, Snickers, Dove, Galaxy, and Twix. In the last five years, Reid has successfully led the Chocolate business to deliver consistent growth in mature and emerging markets. In addition, he has been a champion of industry efforts to collaborate on the issue of cocoa sustainability. In particular, he has grown the Mars’ Sustainable Cocoa Initiative, which puts “farmers first” in its efforts to increase sustainable farming practices and crop productivity.

Reid will step into a Co-Office of the President role effective July 2. He’ll then have the time to partner with Michaels on transition plans before taking on the role of President of Mars formally in January 2015.

In other news, Mars Chocolate North America has opened a new 500,000-sq-ft facility in Topeka, Kan. The facility—the first new Mars Chocolate North America site built in the last 35 years—will help the company meet the demands of consumers for the next 50 years by producing M&M’S and Snickers sustainably.

“This new $270 million facility, which will bring 200 new jobs to Topeka, is one of the largest investments in Mars history,” said Debra A. Sandler, President, Mars Chocolate North America. “For more than 100 years, Mars has been committed to making our products in the markets where we sell them, and this facility—in America’s heartland—is further proof of our commitment.”

Mars Chocolate North America broke ground on the Topeka facility in August 2011. The plant is continuing to pursue onsite renewable energy and is working to incorporate a number of innovative solutions into the design and construction of the facility such as sending no waste to landfills in order to achieve U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

President press release

Facility press release