CHICAGO, Illinois (July 21, 2022) — Mars Wrigley, a leader in the snacks and treats category, today announced the appointment of Gülen Bengi as Global Chief Growth Officer, starting on October 3. Bengi succeeds Cathryn Sleight who, following a successful 30-year plus global marketing career, has decided to rebalance her personal and corporate life by taking a step back from full-time work to explore plural opportunities.
Sleight, who joined the business in 2019 and played an active role in the process to hire her successor, will stay on through December, partnering with Bengi to complete the transition. Bengi will be leading the Mars Wrigley portfolio’s growth agenda and report to Mars Wrigley Global President Andrew Clarke.
"We are grateful to Cathryn for her exceptional and versatile leadership,” said Andrew Clarke, Global President of Mars Wrigley. “In the face of uncertainty and disruption, she helped Mars Wrigley regain share growth momentum by powering our brands with meaningful purpose, building digital capabilities, gaining availability in fast-growing channels and delivering cutting edge innovation. Her ambition and contributions to our business and brands will have a lasting impact.”
Clarke continued: “I’m delighted to welcome Gülen to Mars Wrigley. Her impressive track record demonstrates transformational leadership, pure marketing talent and commercial acumen that will enable her to drive growth, accelerate our innovation agenda and build new capabilities. Gülen has a passion for growing talent, building high performance teams and developing inclusive cultures. We know she’ll help Mars Wrigley remain a leading employer that attracts and retains top talent and always fosters an environment of inclusivity.”
Bengi, who most recently served as Executive Vice President - Hair Care at Unilever, is a highly accomplished marketing and P&L leader who has led transformations in several CPG businesses and in multiple geographies. As CPG industry veteran, Bengi started her career at Unilever, followed by key roles at Danone and Kimberly Clark before rejoining Unilever in 2020. She has strong emerging and developed market experience, and has lived and lead businesses in the UK, US, Central America, and the Caribbean as well as her native country Türkiye. Bengi has held strategic global, regional and local roles in sales, marketing and general management with a strong track record for envisioning and delivering results and driving growth. She is passionate about growing talent, building high performance teams and developing inclusive cultures.
Bengi commented: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Mars Wrigley, an inspiring, purpose led company with its generational thinking guided by its Five Principles and belief that ‘the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today.’ I am especially excited to be joining at such a pivotal time for the business. Cathryn and the talented Mars team have set a strong foundation. Now it will be our job to continue building the business and taking our iconic brands and categories to the next level.”
Sleight’s departure concludes the most recent chapter in an impressive, almost four-decade full-time career at major multinational food and beverage companies including The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever where latterly she led the Global Food Category as EVP, 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. Sleight will continue into early 2023 working on a series of programs for Mars.
Reflecting on her career and transformative tenure at Mars, Sleight adds: “It has been a privilege of a lifetime to help grow this amazing business with some of the world’s best-loved brands. While I look forward to rebalancing my personal and corporate life, I will miss the Mars team dearly and will always follow these iconic brands. I congratulate Gülen on this fantastic opportunity to help shape the future of treating and snacking.”
About Mars, Incorporated
For more than a century, Mars, Incorporated has been driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. This common purpose unites our 140,000+ Associates. It is at the center of who we are as a global, family-owned business, and it fuels how we are transforming, innovating, and evolving to make a positive impact on the world.
Every year, our diverse and expanding portfolio of quality confectionery, food, and pet care products and services delight millions of people and supports millions of pets. With almost $45 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world's best-loved brands including Ben's Original™, CESAR®, Cocoavia®, DOVE®, EXTRA®, KIND®, M&M's®, SNICKERS®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, and WHISKAS®. We are creating a better world for pets through nutrition, breakthrough programs in diagnostics, wearable health monitoring, DNA testing, pet welfare and comprehensive veterinary care with AniCura, BANFIELD™, BLUEPEARL™, Linnaeus and VCA™.
We know we can only be truly successful if our partners and the communities in which we operate prosper. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire our Associates to act every day to help create a better world tomorrow in which the planet, its people and pets can thrive.
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