General Mills names McDonald's alum Jano Cabrera as global comms head

Cabrera is replacing Mary Lynn Carver in the role.

MINNEAPOLIS: General Mills has hired Jano Cabrera as its global chief communications officer.

Cabrera, who is relocating to Minneapolis from Chicago for the position, is set to start in the role on August 16. Reporting to SVP and CMO Ivan Pollard, he is replacing Mary Lynn Carver, who left General Mills last month.

Cabrera will lead General Mills’ internal and external comms functions globally, overseeing 25 staffers. He will head issues and crisis management, media relations and corporate reputation building for General Mills with a focus on nurturing and protecting the company and its brands. 

"I am excited to join General Mills because the company is at a moment in time where it is transforming and modernizing," said Cabrera. "Being part of an iconic American brand that is going through that journey has always been something that has appealed to me."

He added that he is looking forward to shaping General Mills’ overall corporate narratives and looking for ways to communicate and connect with stakeholders. 

Most recently, Cabrera was SVP of U.S. communications, global media and PR at McDonald’s. He left the fast-food giant in March. A PRWeek Power List 2018 honoree, he led media relations, brand reputation and consumer engagement and oversaw the U.S. market at McDonald’s. 

After starting at the company in 2015, he also shook up its agency relationships. The chain works with three primary agency partners, Golin, WE and Purple Strategies, each focused on a storytelling area. From 1956 until last year, McDonald’s principally worked with Golin. Cabrera also revamped McDonald’s in-house communications group with a focus on subject-matter experts.

Last month, McDonald’s hired former Sprint comms head David Tovar as VP of U.S. communications amid a string of changes to its in-house communications team. The company split Cabrera’s former responsibilities, such as overseeing field communications, media relations and aspects of corporate comms. The chain also placed media relations under corporate comms, which reports to Michael Gonda, VP of global communications, who joined the company in February, while brand engagement and systems communications is reporting to Tovar.

Before joining McDonald’s, Cabrera worked at Burson-Marsteller for eight years; founded Carthage Group Communications; served as communications director for the Democratic Party; and was communications director for the Recording Industry Association of America during the Napster trial. 

General Mills’ revenue for its fiscal Q4 2019, which ended on May 26, rose 6.9% to $4.2 billion. However, the sales numbers failed to meet expectations as its U.S. snacks business recorded a decline in the quarter.

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