Mars Petcare has appointed Alejandro (Alex) Cedeno to the Mars Pet Nutrition North America leadership team, a division of Mars Petcare, as Senior Vice President of Research & Development (R&D).
Cedeno is a seasoned leader with more than 28 years of global R&D experience across consumer packaged goods (CPG) categories. Prior to his appointment at Mars Pet Nutrition North America, Cedeno held the role of Vice President, Research & Development of Pet Food and Snacks at The J.M. Smucker Company, where he was responsible for leading innovation in pet food by managing organizational and technical operations. Before joining Smucker, Cedeno held R&D and innovation roles at Mead WestVaco (now WestRock) and Procter & Gamble in North America, Europe and South America.
In his new role at Mars Petcare, Cedeno will provide strategic and operational leadership to R&D across quality and food safety, product, process and packaging innovation, renovation and productivity, sustainability and regulatory and scientific affairs. As a member of the global Mars Petcare R&D leadership team, he will also help create and drive global R&D strategies, participate in the development of the innovation pipeline for the company’s pet nutrition brands and oversee the deployment of breakthrough science and technology in the region.
“Alex is a people-first leader with a disruptive and innovative mindset,” said Ikdeep Singh, Global President, Mars Pet Nutrition. “A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS is our purpose. It is core to everything we do and I’m confident that his global knowledge, passion for people and pets and expertise in pet food innovation will make him an immeasurable asset to our Pet Nutrition R&D team.”
Cedeno holds a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and completed his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology as Magna Cum Laude. Additionally, Cedeno is passionate about the arts and their role in education. He is the Founding Executive Director and past President and Chairman of the Board of Dancing Classrooms Greater Richmond, a non-profit program that cultivated essential life skills in elementary and middle school children through the practice of social dance. Previously, he served as the Chair of the Artistic Development Committee of the Board of Directors of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and was on the Board of Directors of the Latin Ballet of Virginia.
“I’m honored to be joining Mars Petcare, a company that is focused on delivering its purpose with a dynamic team of Associates who are committed to making life better for pets and pet parents,” said Cedeno. “R&D continues to transform the way we deliver on pet health through food and I’m looking forward to partnering with the team to accelerate our pet nutrition growth aspirations.”
Cedeno’s appointment follows the retirement of Michel Oostwal, Senior Vice President of R&D for Mars Pet Nutrition North America, this month. Oostwal’s contributions in his 12 years with Mars Petcare include the launch of the company’s first Global Innovation Center in the United States and leading product transformation and innovation across the pet food portfolio. To ensure a smooth transition, Oostwal has supported Cedeno’s onboarding since he joined the team in April.