PetSmart fetches General Mills’ Rob Litt to lead communications

The retailer operates 1,600-plus stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

PHOENIX: PetSmart has hired General Mills’ Rob Litt as VP of corporate communications and PR.

Litt will lead all aspects of internal and external comms, media relations and reputation management.

“It’s a great opportunity to work with the leading pet retailer, when so many are rediscovering that pets make us better people,” he said. “This is a time when pet adoption is at an all-time high, the company and industry is growing and it is a great time to come in and help tell those stories, internally and externally.”

He added that PetSmart Charities, the company’s nonprofit dedicated to saving the lives of homeless animals, attracted him to the position.

Litt is set to start in the role on February 1, reporting to SVP and CMO Will Smith. Litt will replace Michelle Friedman, who was the company’s VP of corporate comms in her most recent role in a 15-year career at PetSmart. She joined eBay as VP of global comms in September 2020. 

Litt is joining PetSmart from General Mills, where he is senior director of corporate communications. His last day at General Mills is January 29.

“[Litt] is fantastic; he is smart, driven and passionate,” said General Mills’ global chief communications officer Jano Cabrera. “He cares about the practice of comms and I am positive he will make a significant difference at PetSmart because he did that here.”

Cabrera declined to comment on replacing Litt.

“General Mills was a fantastic employer, doing amazing work,” Litt said. “I worked with amazing colleagues and I know they will continue to do fantastic work when I leave and I will be cheering them on from afar.”

Before joining General Mills in 2016, Litt was director of global comms for organic food manufacturer SunOpta and head of external comms for the Mosaic Company. He has also worked at Piper Jaffray, Spong PR and Burson-Marsteller. 

PetSmart operates 1,650 stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetsHotel dog- and cat-boarding facilities. The retailer also provides services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, Doggie Day Camp and pet adoption. PetSmart, PetSmart Charities and PetSmart Charities of Canada work with more than 4,000 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores. The company has facilitated more than 9 million adoptions, it said in a statement.

The retailer works with Golin.

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