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Mondelēz appointing a Board member is not often interesting news, but this appointment peaked my interest once I started looking into the background of their appointee.

Ertharin Cousin’s list of accomplishments goes on for so long that I had to check I wasn’t accidentally looking up two different people. 

It’s worth looking at her Wikipedia page here. However, some positions she’s held that impressed me included one as Executive director of the World Food Programme and another as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture.

Cousin is well-travelled and once listed 45th on Forbes’ Magazine 100 most powerful women list (is anyone else out there suddenly feeling like an underachiever?)

I’m sometimes critical of Mondelēz, but this is an excellent appointment which raises their ESG profile considerably. I hope, during her tenure, that she will project a strong influence from the inside.

Less impressive was the actual press release, which allocated only one paragraph for her background. I suspect the list of ingredients on one of their chocolate bars may be longer. In comparison, the Wikipedia page uses over 2,000 words to explain her achievements.

Perhaps Dirk Van de Put, the Chairman and CEO, was being naturally understated when he said.

“We welcome Ertharin to our Board and look forward to benefiting from her wealth of knowledge and expertise. Her expert perspective on food policy and sustainability issues will bring important insights and value to our Board and team as we continue advancing our strategy and ESG priorities as a global snacking leader.”

Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO, Mondelēz International

We sincerely wish Ms Cousin the very best of luck at Mondelēz and hope that her influence among the Board, which will comprise 13 members when she joins, will be felt. 


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    Nick Baskett is the editor in Chief at Bartalks. He holds a diploma from the Financial Times as a Non Executive Director and works as a consultant across multiple industries. Nick has owned multiple businesses, including an award-winning restaurant and coffee shop in North Macedonia.

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