- Mars, Incorporated, the consumer and pet brand company, announced Sandeep Dadlani as chief digital officer and George Corbin as chief digital demand officer in a company news release.
- Dadlani will succeed Chief Information Officer Vittorio Cretella, and will be tasked with driving digital transformation at Mars along with bringing design thinking, new data analytics capabilities and automation to accelerate digitization. Corbin most recently served as the Senior Vice President of Digital at Marriott and will work more closely with digital commerce partner relationships and on the integration of Mars' e-commerce and digital business efforts with the consumer experience.
- "Digital is changing the way our consumers and customers experience our products and services," Mars CEO and President Grant F. Reid said of the appointments in the release. Mars sees almost $35 billion in global sales across its Snickers, M&M's and Pedigree brands.
Mars, a company which has been around for over a century, is clearly realigning its executive structure to better account for continued digital disruption in the market. Dadlani's function appearing to take over for the CIO role points to how top of the conversation digital is when it comes to technological innovation, a trend also apparent in Corbin's appointment to spur growth in the e-commerce space.
The exec news echoes a corporate restructuring made by Coca-Cola in March, which put a premium on elevating research and development and recognizing the importance of digitization as a growth enabler for business.
Mars' concentrated push to build out online services and sales comes as consumer packaged goods growth in the retail sector slows, falling to its lowest point in the past five years in 2016. Sales of candy, one of Mars' staple product offerings, are also down as many consumers demand healthier alternatives.
Still, Mars has continued to experiment in the marketing space in exciting ways. In May, its M&M's brand transformed Times Square billboards into interactive augmented reality arcade games to promote a new caramel flavor.