The Kellogg Company’s board of directors has elected David Mackay, 51,  to serve as chief executive officer, replacing Jim Jenness. The appointment will come into effect on 31 December.

Jenness, 60, will continue as chairman of Kellogg and a member of the board of directors. Jenness had led Kellogg since 2004.

Speaking on behalf of Kellogg’s board of directors, Gordon Gund, chairman of the nominating and governance committee, said: “Jim’s style and love for Kellogg have set exactly the right tone. We are grateful to him for the continued growth under his leadership and the continuity of our management team. We are pleased that he will continue to provide his perspective and insights as chairman of the board.”

“David’s promotion to CEO is gr-r-reat for our company and shareholders. His contribution to growing and sustaining the company’s performance has been invaluable,” said current Kellogg chairman and chief executive officer Jenness. “With David at the helm, a strong management team, and the 26,000 employees around the world, our commitment to deliver sustainable performance driven by realistic goals will continue to be the focus.”

Mackay joined Kellogg Australia as group product manager in 1985. Since then, he has held various senior management in the US, Australia, and Europe. After leaving the company for a brief period, he rejoined Kellogg Australia in 1998 and returned to the US business in 2000.

Kellogg said that Mackay has been active in the development of the company’s growth strategy and has served as a member of the executive management team for five years. Most recently, he served as president and chief operating officer.

“David has been a member of the board for the past two years, and we have seen firsthand his leadership and strong operational expertise. His Kellogg accumulated knowledge is a tremendous asset for the company,” Gund concluded.

Commenting on his appointment, Mackay said: “I am humbled by the opportunity to lead the company and sincerely appreciate the confidence Jim and the Board have in me. I look forward to continuing to drive our focused strategy and business model.”