Blog: Dean BestMondelez's latest board appointment shows strategic importance of e-commerce

Dean Best | 10 December 2015

Mondelez International has made a number of moves in recent quarters that demonstrate the attention the snacks giant is giving to the digital sphere - and this week the Cadbury owner made another.

The company has appointed Nike executive Christiana Shi to its board of directors.

Shi holds the title of president, direct-to-consumer, at the sportswear group. In that position, Shi has "oversight" for Nike's stores, Mondelez said, before it tellingly added she also heads up global digital commerce, which includes all of the company's e-commerce businesses around the world.

"Christiana's intimate knowledge of digital commerce along with superior supply chain and cost management expertise for global consumer companies will be invaluable as we continue to reinvent our supply chain, drive down costs and accelerate our growth in key areas like e-commerce," Mondelez chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld said.

E-commerce is one of three areas (alongside health and what it calls "shifts in income distribution") on which Mondelez is focusing to drive sales.

In September, Mondelez chief growth officer Mark Clouse told analysts and investors the company believes there is a "$1bn opportunity" from e-commerce by 2020.

It will of course not be easy to fully capture that opportunity. But Clouse's comments demonstrated Mondelez has thought long and hard about how to try and get its top line moving, beyond just putting up prices or relying on the underlying growth of emerging markets (the latter of which the company had touted as key to its growth prospects when it was formed in 2012).

Shi's appointment underlines Mondelez's ambitions in e-commerce and competitors will be watching closely.

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