Mars New Zealand has appointed Emily Dowling as its new General Manager to oversee the Mars Petcare, Mars Snacking, and Mars Food portfolios.

Her appointment follows the departure of Pete Simmons who has decided to leave Mars following 16 years with the business. He will depart the business on 30 January.

In his five years as General Manager, Simmons set about leading a program to refocus the business on growth priorities, partnering with customers across the different channels, establishing digital commerce in the business, and developing a strong talent offer – all while leading the business through COVID.

Dowling will head up the growth and development of brands such as Whiskas, M&M’s, and Masterfoods, while driving the company’s purpose: ‘a better world tomorrow starts with how we do business today’.

With more than 18 years of experience working in the FMCG industry across Australia and Europe, Dowling joins the New Zealand leadership team from Mars Petcare Australia, where she has served as the Marketing Director since 2018.

During her tenure, she led the launch of the Temptations brand (now the category leader in grocery cat treats); developed Mars Australia’s first Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) online store for the Advance brand; and engineered the first consumer promotion for The Lion’s Share, a global fundraising initiative for the United Nations Development Programme. In 2021 she was recognised as one of the top 50 Chief Marketing Officers in Australia.

Dowling, who has relocated to Auckland with her family (and dog), says that she is thrilled to be joining Mars New Zealand.

“The team here has always had an outsized impact on Mars’ business globally, particularly on the creative side with truly ground-breaking campaigns like My Hooman, our pet adoption platform. They’ve also demonstrated best in class agility in managing supply chain challenges in recent years, and I’m committed to driving that consistency for our retail partners and consumers.”

Deri Watkins, Europe Regional President, Mars Petcare, said that Dowling’s blend of commercial creativity and purpose-driven leadership will put her in great stead in New Zealand.

“She has an exceptional record in partnering with customers for growth, and driving the distinctiveness of our brands, and I look forward to seeing her impact on the New Zealand market,” says Watkins.

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