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Kendall J. Powell became chief executive officer of General Mills on Sept. 24, 2007, and chairman of the board on May 24, 2008. Powell was previously elected president and chief operating officer of General Mills in June 2006. Prior to that, he was elected executive vice president and chief operating officer, U.S. Retail, in May 2005.
Powell served as executive vice president of General Mills starting in August 2004, with responsibility for the company's Meals, Pillsbury USA, Baking Products, and Bakeries & Foodservice businesses. From September 1999 to August 2004, Powell was chief executive officer of Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW), a General Mills/Nestle joint venture with headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Powell joined General Mills in 1979 as a marketing assistant and advanced through a series of assignments of increasing responsibility including positions in the Yoplait, Betty Crocker and Big G cereal divisions, and CPW where he was marketing director from 1990 to 1996. Powell was named marketing director for Cereal Partners UK based in the United Kingdom in 1990, then became vice president and marketing director of CPW.
He returned to the United States in January 1996 to become president of Yoplait USA. Powell was named president of General Mills Big G division in October 1997 and appointed senior vice president of General Mills in May 1998.
Powell serves on the boards of General Mills and Medtronic and is a member of the Supervisory Board of CPW. His community service includes board memberships for the Twin Cities United Way and the Minnesota Historical Society. Powell earned his bachelor's degree in biology from Harvard in 1976 and an MBA from Stanford University in 1979.