Wrigley's no longer a family affair

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Gum, Confectionery, Chocolate

For the first time in the gum maker's long history, the William
Wrigley Jr Company has appointed a non-family member to take over
the leadership of the global confectionery business.

The company, who own the Juicyfruit and Doublemint brands, announced yesterday William D Perez had been elected as the new president and CEO, as well as continuing in his role as a member of the board of directors.

Bill Wrigley Jr, great grandson of the company's founder, will step down from the position in a move that brings to an end the 115 year tradition of family ownership at the company. However he will continue to play a leading role in the business by retaining his title as chairman of the board

The outgoing president said: "Bill comes to us at a time when our business is strong and growing - we have a solid foundation and we are well-positioned for future growth.

"Our brands are vibrant and we are achieving the goals and aspirations we have set for ourselves in large measure because of a tremendously talented executive leadership team."

To coincide with the news, Wrigley released its third quarter results which showed profits had risen $18m (€14.35m) to $148m (€118m) while sales for the period had seen an increase of 11 per cent.

The gum manufacturer has rolled out a variety of new products this year in a bid to wrestle market share from its largest competitor, Cadbury Schweppes.

This aggressive new product approach has seen market innovations such as dark chocolate dipped Altoids mints and mint mojito flavoured Orbits.

Wrigley currently has a 35% share of the gum industry worldwide and sell their products in 180 countries.

According to market researchers Leatherhead International, the global gum industry was worth over €10.9bn in 2005 and North America is the largest market, accounting for 24 per cent of world wide consumption.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Gum

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