Jeffrey L. Harmening '89
Jeffrey L. Harmening ’89
CEO, Chairman of the Board, General Mills
Jeff Harmening was named chief executive officer of General Mills on June 1, 2017. He was elected to serve as chairman of the board of directors effective January 1, 2018.
Jeff joined General Mills in 1994 and has held leadership positions for the company in the United States and Europe.
Jeff previously served as president and chief operating officer for General Mills, where he shaped strategies for the company’s four global operating segments and had oversight of Global Supply Chain, and Innovation, Technology and Quality. He assumed his role as president and chief operating officer in July of 2016.
In the U.S., he served in various marketing roles before being named vice president of marketing for Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW) in 2003. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, CPW is a 50-50 joint venture between General Mills and Nestle that manufactures and markets ready-to-eat cereal products in more than 130 countries outside of North America.
In June 2007, Jeff returned to the U.S. and was named president of the General Mills Big G cereal division. He was promoted to senior vice president in April 2011. In 2012, Jeff returned to Europe as CEO of Cereal Partners Worldwide and held that role from 2012 to 2014.
Returning to the U.S. in 2014, he was named executive vice president, chief operating officer of the largest division of General Mills, the U.S. Retail segment. In this role Jeff had corporate oversight of the Baking Products, Big G Cereals, Meals, Pillsbury USA, Small Planet Foods, Snacks, and Yoplait divisions.
During Harmening's leadership of the U.S. Retail business, the company greatly expanded its position in the natural and organic segment, including the acquisition of Annie's and EPIC Provisions. That made General Mills the fourth largest maker of natural and organic foods in the U.S.
A graduate of DePauw University, Jeff began his career as a financial analyst at Eli Lilly and Company from 1989 to 1992. He received his MBA from Harvard in 1994 and is a Trustee at DePauw University.