Kellogg Co. Chief Executive Officer John Bryant, who took the reins at the cereal company three years ago, will add the chairman job to his duties on July 1, succeeding James Jenness.
Jenness, a former ad executive who served as Kellogg’s CEO from 2005 to 2006, will remain on the board as a nonexecutive director, the Battle Creek, Michigan-based company said today in a statement. He will turn 68 next month.
Kellogg, which makes Rice Krispies, Pop Tarts and other packaged foods, saw a surge in options trading earlier this month, raising speculation that the company could become a takeover target. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is a potential suitor, according to Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough.
Bryant joined Kellogg in 1998 and held a variety of roles, including chief financial officer, before becoming CEO in January 2011. The 48-year-old Australian has been on the board since 2010. Last November, Bryant embarked on a four-year efficiency plan called Project K, which is designed to save between $425 million and $475 million annually by 2018.
Bryant has “a clear vision of how we will deliver on our strategy and grow our business around the world,” Jenness said in today’s statement.