Stephen W. Sanger is retired chairman and CEO of General Mills, the world’s sixth largest food company with a roster of popular consumer brands that includes Cheerios, Yoplait, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Green Giant, Nature Valley and many others.
Sanger joined General Mills in 1974 and progressed through a variety of positions in marketing management across the company’s consumer food businesses, including president of the Big G cereal division and president of YoplaitUSA. He was elected to the board of directors in 1992 and was named president of General Mills in October 1993. He served as Chairman and CEO from 1995 to 2007 and continued as Chairman of the Board through May 2008.
During Sanger’s tenure as Chairman and CEO, General Mills’ sales more than doubled and earnings and market capitalization tripled. Under Sanger’s leadership General Mills was consistently recognized not only for its financial performance, but also for its innovative workplace practices and strong commitment to corporate responsibility.
The company is regularly listed among Fortune’s Most Admired Companies and 100 Best Places to Work and in 2007 was named in Fortune as “a global top company for leaders,” ranking sixth out of 550 companies worldwide. The company has also been named, by Working Mother magazine as one of the top 10 companies for working mothers and best companies for multicultural women. Chief Executive magazine has named General Mills one of its 20 best companies for developing leaders. General Mills has received the Catalyst Award for advancing women in management, the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Citizenship, and is ranked among America’s top 10 corporate citizens by CRO magazine.
Sanger is a director of the Target Corporation, Pfizer, Inc. and Wells Fargo, Inc. He is also a member of the Business Council and past board member of Catalyst, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, the Business Roundtable and past board chairman of the Guthrie Theater. In 2007, he was appointed by the President of the United States to serve on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Sanger received a bachelor's degree in history fromDePauwUniversityin 1968 and an MBA from theUniversityofMichiganin 1970. From 1970 to 1973, he held marketing and sales positions with Procter & Gamble.