Brian T. Gladden

Brian T. Gladden
Mondelez International, Inc.

Last Updated: 09/29/2017

Executive Summary

Gladden in December 2014 became Chief Financial Officer of Mondelez International, one of the world’s largest snack manufacturers (the company was spun off from Kraft Foods in 2012). He joined the company in October and  is working closely with outgoing CFO David Brearton to ensure a smooth transition. Gladden joined Mondelez 10 months after he left Dell Inc., where he was one of several senior executives who departed after the company completed a leverage buyout of its shareholders in October 2013. He served as CFO at the big computer company from May 2008 to February 2014. Gladden joined Dell after brief stints as President and Chief Executive Officer at GE Plastics and then SABIC Innovative Plastics, as the division was known after its May 2007 sale to Saudi Basic Industries Corporation. Gladden began his career in 1988 at General Electric Company, where he held various financial positions until his May 1992 elevation to Corporate Auditor. He was named Finance Manager of GE Healthcare in June 1997 and became Vice President and Chief Financial Officer with GE Plastics in 2002, where he was named President just before the division’s sale to the Saudi firm.

Personal Attributes and Interests

  • On a podcast on the topic of leadership, Gladden while at Dell said he was proud of the fact that he met with all 5,000 people in the finance organization over the first 120 days of his tenure.
  • Gladden is a firm believer in meritocracy. He sends a strong message that those who get things done with a high degree of integrity are the ones who are going to be rewarded with better opportunities.
  • He frequently serves as a conference speaker.
  • Gladden was tapped as Mondelez International’s CFO as part of a broader restructuring in which David Brearton, whom Gladden replaced, took on a new role at Mondelez’s joint venture with D.E Master Blenders 1753 of Europe. Mondelez unveiled plans earlier in 2014 to combine its coffee business with D.E Master Blenders to create a more formidable rival to Nestlé SA. The joint venture, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, closed in 2015 and created the world’s leading pure-play coffee company with more than $7 billion in revenue. Both Gladden and Brearton report to Mondelez International Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld. Under the deal, Gladden gets a base salary of $900,000, with millions of dollars in potential bonuses. "Adding Brian to our leadership team will accelerate our progress in becoming the best snacking company in the world," Rosenfeld said when he was hired. "Brian has a proven track record in financial and operating discipline, aggressive cost management to expand margins and fund growth, and building and leading a global business services operation. This background, together with his extensive experience operating in emerging markets, creating shareholder value and developing talent, will greatly benefit our global organization and our shareholders." "I am very excited to partner with Irene and the entire Mondelez International team to help accelerate the aggressive transformation agenda that the company has launched. I look forward to working with Dave and ensuring a seamless transition. I can’t wait to get started," said Gladden.

Current Focus

  • Company snapshot: Mondelez International Inc. is a global confectionery, food and beverage conglomerate, employing more than 90,000 people around the world. It consists of the global snack and food brands of the former Kraft Foods Inc. The Mondelez name, adopted at the time of the October 2012 split, came from the input of Kraft Foods employees at the time, a combination of the words for "world" and "delicious" in Romance languages. Mondelez International manages snack brands around the globe, including cookies and crackers (Oreo, Chips Ahoy!, TUC, Belvita, Triscuit, Club Social, Barni, Peek Freans), chocolate (Milka, Côte d’Or, Toblerone, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Lacta), and gum and candy (Trident, Dentyne, Chiclets, Halls, Stride, Cadbury Dairy Milk Eclairs). The company is headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, and does business in 165 countries. Mondelez International reported 2016 net revenues of approximately $26 billion. About 85% of the company's annual revenue is generated in fast-growing snacks categories, and 35% of its sales come from emerging markets.
  • Investment in geographies: During the company’s August 2017 earnings call, CEO Irene Rosenfeld said, “…our route-to-market in China is somewhat unique relative to other markets. But frankly, the success that we've had with gum and now in chocolate is simply the playbook, which is that we intend to have all of our categories available in all of our countries. And so as we think about the emerging markets, most of those countries are dominant single category countries. And slowly but surely, we are bringing our brands into those white spaces, and so chocolate in China is a good example. The opportunity to bring chocolate here to the U.S. is another example. It's not about the nature of the route-to-market. It's our investment in the feet on the ground that allow us to have the reach into broader parts of the country. So the investments that we're making in all of our geographies are designed to give us the infrastructure in Brazil, in China, in India, and South East Asia that will then allow us to put all of our categories through that pipe. So we have great visibility and optimism about the runway of growth opportunities that will come from the introduction of all of our categories into what is white space for us in a number of markets.”
  • M&A strategy: During the company’s August 2017 earnings call, commenting about M&A, CEO Irene Rosenfeld told analysts, “…we feel very good about the overall composition of the portfolio and about our reach. We are well positioned certainly in the BRIC markets and in a number of the second-tier markets, but we will continue to look for opportunities to supplement that portfolio as we did in Vietnam, with our Kinh Do acquisition. So in that case, we had a business in Vietnam. It was fairly small. We instantly became the number one snacking company in that country with the acquisition of Kinh Do. So we will continue to look for opportunities to supplement our basic footprint, but we feel quite good about the overall footprint and approximately 40% of our revenue that is in emerging markets.”
  • Malware incident: During the company’s August 2017 earnings call, Gladden provided more details on the malware incident. He said, “On June 27, like many other companies, we were globally impacted by an unprecedented malware incident. For the last four days of the quarter and into the third quarter, we had limited ability to ship and invoice customers in many markets. Our teams managed to keep many of our manufacturing facilities running, which was a critical accomplishment. We executed our business continuity and contingency plans to contain the impact of the incident and minimize business disruption with a focus on consumers and customers…we've worked tirelessly to restore our systems and recover from the disruption. Although we've now restored the majority of our affected systems, in a few cases, parts of our supply chain have still not fully recovered, and we anticipate some impacts in our third quarter. We'll also incur some additional one-time costs related to the incident during the second half… the malware incident had a negative impact of approximately 240 basis points to organic net revenue, or about $140 million. We expect to recover a majority of the delayed second quarter shipments in our third quarter, and we've made good progress in shipping these orders during the month of July. We did, however, permanently lose some revenue due to shorter supply chains, mispromotions and lost consumption in some markets…we do not believe the incident has had any long-term impact to our customer relationships or market share. We're pleased with our execution during this crisis and believe that our business continuity plans were effective in minimizing the impact to our customers and to our ongoing financial results. We are conducting a comprehensive review of the incident to determine any potential opportunities to further improve the security of our global systems environment. Currently, we do not expect the required investments to be material to our results. This event has underscored the resiliency of our team and their ability to pull together in the face of adversity. I'd like to thank our teams for their tireless efforts to put us back on track and ensure that we're focused most importantly on our customers and consumers.”
  • Regional performance: During the company’s August 2017 earnings call, Gladden said, “We continue to see solid trends underlying the results in three of our four regions. Our Europe business continues to demonstrate solid operating performance, and we remain encouraged by additional growth opportunities, including in chocolate bakery and chocolate seasonals. In our large and diverse EMEA region, we continue to navigate through a mixed environment. Our Asia Pacific business delivered solid results while some of our markets in the Middle East continue to be challenged. In markets like the Middle East, we've selectively trimmed A&C spending where returns have been challenged. Our India business grew mid-single digits despite the impact from GST. Excluding this headwind, growth would have been double-digit. Chocolate continued to be strong as we executed our plans, and the overall market conditions remained good. China posted a small decline, driven primarily by soft category trends. Our gum business continued to grow and take share, and Milka chocolate performed in line with our expectations. We expect our biscuit business trajectory to improve as we relaunched Oreo this summer with both improved packaging and a new product formula. Difficult economic conditions in the Middle East continue to pressure category growth, but our year-over-year comparisons are easier in the second half. In Latin America, adjusted OI margin increased 530 basis points to 14.3%, primarily driven by improved overhead costs and lower A&C spend, as we continue to adjust our spending levels to match the market dynamics in countries like Brazil and Argentina. Mexico delivered solid growth, driven by strength in candy while Argentina implemented pricing to offset currency-driven inflation. Brazil remains challenging due to continued economic weakness. Our chocolate business delivered a third consecutive quarter of growth and solid share performance, while our biscuits business continued to face difficult price gaps and consumer down trading. Our North America results were challenged in Q2 as overall category growth was even lower than our tempered expectations. It's important to note that of all of our regions, the North America region was most impacted by the malware incident, driven by the lower trade stock levels associated with DSD.”
  • Outlook for 2017: In August 2017, Gladden told analysts, “…our outlook is unchanged for the full year. Our organic net revenue growth target remains at least 1%. We expect adjusted OI margin in the mid-16% range as well as double-digit adjusted EPS growth on a constant currency basis. As you think about your models for the next two quarters, remember that Q4 is seasonally a higher revenue quarter and will be higher than Q3 even after the impact of the additional malware incident related shipments. You'll note that we're absorbing the dilution from the two divestitures, but we're also adjusting our outlook for interest expense for the year, and the two items roughly offset one another. And with respect to free cash flow, we continue to expect to deliver approximately $2 billion for the year as we see lower CapEx, improved margins and good working capital efficiency.” CEO Irene Rosenfeld said, “Looking ahead, I'm confident that our long-term value-creation strategy continues to position us to win and that the future for our great company is, indeed, very bright.”
  • Big bet on millennials: According to a July 2017 Advertising Age article, Mondelēz International launched a brand to go after millennials' hunger for healthier options and unique ingredients. The brand, dubbed Véa (pronounced vay-a), is an acknowledgment by the company that while people still want to snack, they want food they feel better about eating. Consumer tastes and snacking habits have been changing. People said they want healthier products and more are craving snacks on the savory side. Véa's ingredients include butternut squash, chick peas, coconut and quinoa. The company said its seed crackers, mini-crunch bars and what it describes as "world crisps" have no artificial colors or flavors, and are Non-GMO Project Verified. The line is aimed at millennials for whom "food is an adventure," said Jason Levine, VP of North America biscuit marketing. Mondelēz said it brought the brand to market quickly, within about 18 months from concept to launch, using research to hit the right notes, including partnering with Google to get consumer feedback. For now, Véa is only available in the U.S. and Canada, with plans to expand into other countries over time. "It's a fanciful name with a nice Latin root, meant to signify a voyage or a journey," Chief Growth Officer Tim Cofer said back in February 2017 when Mondelēz announced plans for Véa's July debut. "We wanted to build a global brand from scratch."
  • Business Update: CEO Irene Rosenfeld on a May 2017 earnings call told analysts, "We're off to a solid start in 2017, having delivered another quarter of growth on both the top and bottom lines in a challenging environment. While there have been some puts and takes so far, our business is playing out largely as we expected. On the top line, we delivered organic growth of 0.6%, slightly ahead of our expectation, but there's still work to do. Our Power Brands continued to be a strong driver of overall performance, with organic growth up 2.5%, once again outpacing category growth. A number of our key markets, including Russia, Germany, Southeast Asia, and Mexico delivered strong growth. In addition, India rebounded faster than expected from the impact of demonetization, delivering high single digit growth. In fact, except for North America, all regions delivered solid results. I'll say a few more words about North America in just a few minutes. On the bottom line, we continue to make significant progress and build on our strong track record of margin expansion. Adjusted OI margin increased by 90 basis points to 16.8%. Overhead savings and productivity drove the improvement, as we continue to deliver operational efficiencies across the business. Adjusted EPS growth was solid, an increase of 6% at constant currency, driven mainly by operating earnings. And finally, we returned significant capital to our shareholders in the first quarter, with nearly $800 million in dividends and share repurchases."
  • Strategic Alliance with Amazon India: In July 2017 Mondelez India, a part of Mondelez International entered into a strategic alliance with Amazon India, to establish India’s first virtual chocolate and sweet store, reported Franchise India. “eCommerce is the fastest-growing channel for our business. At Mondelez International, we are committed to creating delicious moments of joy for our consumers and in each of our key markets. Globally, we have an ambitious target to generate $1bn in e-commerce revenue by 2020, and we’re focusing our investments strategically on associations that help us develop best in class sales & distribution proficiencies with strong go-to-market capabilities,” said Abhishek Ahluwalia, e-Commerce Lead, Mondelez India. This partnership is an exciting opportunity for the company to tap into the e-commerce market providing an additional channel for consumers. As part of this first-of-its-kind Chocolate & Sweet Store, the company is also enhancing the gifting experience for consumers, where one can purchase not only the conventional gift packs but exclusive ecommerce packs as per the relevant occasion, as part of Mondelez India’s ‘Joy Deliveries’ offering. The Chocolate & Sweet Store will focus on the gifting segment and tailor offerings for individual consumers– enhancing its gifting portfolio. With its year round Joy deliveries will offer features such as customization, bundled offerings, and options to choose from multiple gift packaging to suit important occasions like Raksha Bandhan, Diwali etc. and year round occasions that’ll help say ‘Happy Birthday’, ‘Thank You’, ‘Congratulations’ etc.
  • Margins: Gladden on a May 2017 earnings call told analysts, "We continue to deliver strong adjusted OI margin expansion, with overhead reductions being the primary driver. Adjusted gross margin decreased 20 basis points as solid net productivity improvements and better pricing were offset by unfavorable mix and higher input costs. Adjusted OI margin was 16.8%, up 90 basis points. This improvement was driven by another quarter of overhead reductions from zero-based budgeting and global shared service initiatives. Similar to Q4, these results include the cost of investments in innovation and white space expansion that are largely in advance of revenue, which will become more meaningful in the back half of the year and into 2018. We expect to make even larger growth-related investments in the second quarter, and that will somewhat temper margin delivery in the quarter. But overall, we're on track with our cost agenda and remain confident in our path to ongoing margin expansion, consistent with the targets we've given you."
  • Outlook: Gladden on a May 2017 earnings call told analysts, "Overall, we're reaffirming our outlook. The first half is generally playing out as we expected, although we do see slightly different dynamics between the quarters. We delivered better growth in margins in Q1 than our forecast, as the first quarter was less impacted by the Easter shift than anticipated. In Q2, the year-over-year compare will be more difficult and we expect North America to remain challenged. Due to these factors, we expect Q2 revenue growth below Q1, with improving growth in the second half. In terms of margin, the second quarter will be affected by higher growth investments and the timing of some spending that shifted from Q1 to Q2. For the total year, we continue to expect to deliver on our outlook. We continue to expect organic net revenue growth of at least 1%. We expect adjusted OI margin in the mid 16% range, as well as double-digit adjusted EPS growth on a constant currency basis. And with respect to free cash flow, we continue to expect to deliver approximately $2 billion for the year, as we see lower CapEx, improved margins, and good working capital efficiency."
  • Three-Pillar Growth Strategy: Rosenfeld updated analysts on the company's three-pillar growth strategy on a May 2017 earnings call.
    • "First, we remain focus on contemporizing our core to ensure that our brands stay relevant to a very dynamic consumer. We're investing in our Power Brands and key markets where we see good returns. For example, in EMEA, Cadbury chocolate grew double digits in India, supported by solid innovations and strong marketing, while our team worked with customers to manage through demonetization...At the same time, we're taking actions to manage our non-Power Brands. We expect to close two previously announced divestitures in Q2. Our Australian cheese and grocery business, and part of our French confectionery business, which together represent more than $500 million of revenue. These deals are not only financially attractive but they'll also help us increase our Power Brand mix, improve our growth rate, and expand margins, as we eliminate the resulting stranded costs."
    • "Our second growth strategy is to support expansion into new consumer need states, especially well-being, as well as into geographic white spaces, like chocolate in China and the U.S., and biscuits in Japan...The accelerating growth of well-being products is one of the biggest shifts facing our industry, and we're addressing this with urgency. As we enter the back half of 2017, we have an unprecedented pipeline of innovation, including new items like Véa as well as renovation of existing products like Triscuit...In addition, we're actively filling geographic white spaces. In the U.S., our Milka Oreo chocolate bars are off to a strong start as we ramp up to full distribution. In China, Milka chocolate continues to build strong brand awareness and trial."
    • "The third pillar of our growth strategy is to continue expanding our sales and distribution capabilities. We're pleased that our eCommerce business posted another quarter of exceptional growth, with net revenue up nearly 30%. We're partnering with key e-tailers such as Alibaba and Amazon as they expand their services in new markets. We're also working with our brick and mortar retail partners who remain the foundation of our business. In addition, we continue to invest in our routes to market. In emerging markets, we're reaching more traditional trade outlets in second and third-tier cities in China and across rural areas of India. We're also working to evolve our coverage in Brazil, to deepen our presence in existing stores while enhancing our impulse portfolio to improve visibility in the hot zone. In developed markets like the U.S., we're expanding our presence in convenience stores as we roll out on-the-go products like belVita Protein bars and smaller pack sizes of our base brands, which are tailor-made for this channel."
  • Opens Research Hub in Poland: Mondelez International inaugurated its newest global Technical Center in Wroclaw, Poland, Global Newswire reported in June 2017. The facility will support new products and technologies for many of the company's iconic power brands, including Milka and Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate as well as Oreo, bel Vita and Barni biscuits. The Wroclaw Technical Center is part of the company's $65 million investment in nine large R&D hubs, strategically positioned around the globe. The centers will enable Mondelez to better recruit, retain and develop talent across a range of science and technical disciplines while accelerating the company's growth and innovation. The center will be home to nearly 250 experts - scientists, engineers and other specialists from all over the world. The site is equipped with innovation labs, a large pilot plant and a "collaboration kitchen" - a creative space of 9,500 square meters for new ideas and experimentation. The Wroclaw Technical Center will closely collaborate on innovations with more than 40 sites in our manufacturing network across Europe. "With these advantaged Technical Centers, we're focusing our investment in research, equipment and capabilities, driving innovation to support our growth strategy, margin and quality platforms," said Rob Hargrove, EVP, research, development, quality and innovation. "These R&D hubs will improve speed, efficiency and effectiveness, while The Wroclaw hub joins four other Mondelez International Technical Centers - East Hanover, New Jersey, in the United States; Curitiba in Brazil; Bournville and Reading, both in the UK - that are already in full operation. The remainder of the company's network of redesigned Technical Centers - in India, Singapore, Mexico and China - are expected to open in the second half of 2017 and in 2018.

Key Challenges

  • 'Not Satisfied' with North America Performance: CEO Irene Rosenfeld on a May 2017 earnings call told analysts, "I'd like to provide some context on North America. Suffice it to say, we're not satisfied with our performance in this region. We clearly made great progress on margins, but over the past few quarters, we haven't delivered the type of top line growth we expect. This is especially true in our U.S. biscuit business. While the environment continues to be quite challenging, we're actively working to improve the trajectory of our U.S. business. We have many competitive advantages in North America, our iconic brands, DSD capabilities, now advantaged manufacturing assets, and a robust pipeline of well-being innovation. All of these advantages position us to win over the long-term. But we need to better leverage these assets. As you know, two weeks ago, we announced a leadership change in the region. Tim Cofer is now serving as Interim President of our North America region, in addition to his critical role as Chief Growth Officer. Tim is one of our most experienced and proven commercial leaders and has successfully demonstrated his expertise in growing our businesses in both developed and emerging markets. Although it's early days, Tim and the team are focused on fundamentals, fully leveraging our DSD capability, improving sales and marketing execution, delivering our ambitious 2017 innovation plans, and expanding our channel presence. As these initiatives gain traction, we expect to see material improvement in revenue and share in the back half of the year without losing focus on our margin commitments."

Biographical Highlights

  • Born in 1965,
  • Gladden earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Finance in 1987 from Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania.
  • He is a graduate of SABIC’s Financial Management Program.
  • Gladden joined General Electric Company in 1988 and over the next 19 years held the following positions:
    • Various financial and management positions (1988 - May 1992)
    • Corporate Auditor (May 1992 - June 1997)
    • Manager, Global Financial Planning and Analysis, GE Medical Systems (June 1997 - 1998)
    • Global Integration Manager and Chief Financial Officer, GE Marquette Medical Systems (1998)
    • Finance Manager, GE Healthcare (June 1997 - November 2000)
    • Vice President and GE, GE Medical Systems Healthcare IT business
    • VP and CFO, GE Plastics (2002 - 2007)
    • President and Chief Executive Officer (2007)
  • In May 2007 GE sold its Plastics unit to SABIC and Gladden briefly remained with what became SABIC Innovative Plastics.
  • He served as Senior Vice President and CFO of Dell Inc. from May 2008 to February 2014.
  • Gladden joined Mondelez International in October 2014 and in December 2014 was named Executive Vice President and CFO.

Other Boards and Organizations

  • Co-Chair, Tech, CFO Leadership Group
  • Member, Advisory Council, University of Texas McCombs School of Business


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Three Pkwy North
Deerfield, IL, 60015
United States


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