Dawson, who has held a number of marketing roles in her two decade-long career at Mars, replaces Poul Weihrauch, who has moved across to become president of Mars Global Petcare. Weihrauch steps in for Todd Lachman, who is leaving the company.
Dawson began her career in Mars in 1988 as a graduate trainee, holding roles including European marketing vice president and managing director, before becoming president of Mars Chocolate UK in 2005.
In that role she has overseen the creation of a marketing advisory group, signed a high-profile brand partnership with Comic Relief and helped the company become the first global food producer to commit to stop marketing to under 12s. She also recently stepped up to take on responsibility of the global Mars Retail Group.
Outside of the day job she is also president of Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) and has previously served on the Department of Health’s Responsibility Deal steering group and as deputy president of the Food and Drink Federation.
Elsewhere within the business, Mars’ chief marketing officer Bruce McColl has been made a member of the Mars leadership team.
McColl is also a Mars marketing veteran, having spent more than 22 years at the company. Mars says in a statement that his stewardship of the company’s global agency relationships and collaboration with its worldwide marketing community have resulted in brand building and award-winning marketing that is increasing reach with consumers all over the world.
Another key appointment announced today (26 September) is the promotion of Andrew Clarke, currently Latin America regional president for Petcare, to chief customer officer, replacing Richard Kellam.
Mars says the role is “critical” for driving strategic initiatives related to customers. He joined Mars’ UK sales team in 2000 from Marks & Spencer and took on increasing responsibility in the function as he moved between the pet speciality, impulse and grocery teams. Since 2007, he has taken on multiple general manager roles across the business.
Grant F.Reid, Mars Incorporated CEO, says: “We are thrilled to have such great talent within the organisation and proud of the growth that these leaders have demonstrated over the years. These great leaders have an average of more than 19 years of experience in leadership at Mars, and they are a testament to how well our development programs at Mars works.”
Yesterday (25 September) Mars rival Mondelez announced it had promoted company marketing veteran Dana Anderson to the CMO role.