Diversity Leadership: Ken Powell, General Mills

Ken Powell
Chairman and CEO
General Mills

“General Mills employees and their unique perspectives are critical to our success,” Ken Powell said in response being named to The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. “By leveraging diversity and creating an inclusive culture, we drive innovation, engagement and growth in our businesses around the world.”

Powell has been General Mills’ CEO since 2007 and chairman since 2008. Prior to that he was President and Chief Operating Officer. He joined the company in 1979 and has spent more than one-third of his career working overseas.

He previously served as President of Yoplait USA and President of the General Mills Big G cereal division. In 1999, he was named CEO of Cereal Partners Worldwide, a joint venture with Nestl that he helped launch in 1990. CPW, based in Switzerland, is now a $2 billion cereal business marketing in more than 130 countries.

Powell earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1976 and an M.B.A. from Stanford University in 1979. He is president of the Minnesota Business Partnership and sits on numerous boards including Cereal Partners Worldwide, The Consumer Goods Forum, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Medtronic, the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation and the Greater Twin Cities United Way.

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