Gerald Mahinda

New boss for Kellogg’s Sub-Saharan Africa

Kellogg has appointmented of Gerald Mahinda, 55, as Managing Director Sub-Saharan Africa, with effect from February 1, 2014. Mahinda joins Kellogg from Diageo where he spent 14-years in leadership roles and was instrumental in delivering transformational growth for Diageo in Africa.

“As part of our emerging markets strategy, we have identified Sub-Saharan Africa as a key area of focus with long term growth potential for Kellogg,” says Amit Banati, President, Asia Pacific.

The Michigan-based food manufacturing company has hived off the new position from the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, highlighting the strategic importance Kellogg’s has placed on sub-Saharan Africa.

Mahinda will work closely with the leadership of Kellogg’s EMEA businesses to transition into the new Sub-Saharan leadership role. The North Africa business will remain under the leadership of Kellogg’s EMEA.

“Gerald has extensive experience in Africa and we are very pleased to have him join Kellogg,” said Banati. “We are looking forward to the Sub-Saharan Africa business thriving under his guidance and leadership.”

Mahinda developed his career in Africa in various senior executive leadership roles spanning 20 different countries, with companies including AIG, Standard Chartered and as MD of East African Breweries, Brandhouse in South Africa and, until recently, MD of Diageo Africa Spirits Transformation.

Based in South Africa, he will drive Kellogg’s agenda of capturing a larger share of the breakfast spend for Africa’s middle-class households, to take on rivals such as Weetabix, Nestle, Mondelez, Proctor & Gamble and General Mills for a bigger share of Africa’s cereals and snack market.

Kellogg’s reckons that increased urbanisation and changing lifestyles in Africa has created demand for its breakfast cereals, snacks and cookies which include Cornflakes, All Bran, Special K, Pringles potato chips and Eggo waffles.

Consumption of ready-to-eat cereals such as cornflakes, oats, muesli and porridge mix is on the rise in Sub-Saharan Africa offering middle-income households convenient breakfast options.

“The real opportunity is in the growing wealth in Africa, especially the middle class and the changing lifestyles that make our products attractive,” said Banati.

The New York Stock Exchange-listed firm reported a net profit of $1.8 billion last year, from sales of $14.8 billion — ranking as the second-biggest cereal maker after rival General Mills.

Kellogg’s, with an asset base of $15.5 billion, markets its food products in 180 countries across the world.

The appointment took effect on February 1 and will see Mr Mahinda formulate and execute strategies and direct operations across the entire sub-Saharan Africa including the Indian Ocean Islands.

“I see an outstanding opportunity for Kellogg’s to grow in Africa and felt energised by the team when I met them,” Mr Mahinda told Business Daily.