Kellogg CEO Carlos Gutierrez New Commerce Secretary
Bush to Announce Pick for Commerce Dept. (NYT-Reuters)
President Bush was set Monday to announce a new Commerce Secretary, replacing Don Evans who said earlier this month he was resigning, the White House said. Bush will make the announcement at 11:05 a.m. EST , said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. He did not say who the nominee would be.
Update: Kellogg CEO Chosen for Commerce Post (AP)
President Bush on Monday chose Carlos Gutierrez, chief executive officer of the Kellogg Co., to be secretary of Commerce, administration officials said. If confirmed by the Senate, Gutierrez would succeed Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, a Texas confidant of Bush’s, who announced his resignation shortly after the Nov. 2 election.
Gutierrez, whose family fled Cuba in 1960 when he was 6, joined Kellogg in 1975. Known for having a strong work ethic and a seemingly endless stream of ideas, he worked all over the world for the company before being promoted to president and chief operating officer in June 1998. Last year, Gutierrez received about $7.4 million in total compensation, including salary, bonus and incentive payments, according to a Kellogg proxy statement. He owns or has option rights to 2 million shares of company stock.
Quite the pay cut. Interesting biography as well.
If confirmed by the Senate, Gutierrez would succeed Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, a Texas confidant of Bush’s, who announced his resignation shortly after the Nov. 2 election. The president called the 51-year-old Gutierrez, 51, a “great American success story” and a visionary executive, who understands the world of business from the “first rung on the ladder to the very top.” “Carlos’s family came to America from Cuba when he was a boy,” Bush said in the Roosevelt Room. “He learned English from a bellhop in a Miami hotel and later became an American citizen. When his family eventually settled in Mexico City, Carlos took his first job for Kellogg as a truck driver, delivering Frosted Flakes to local stores.”
Gutierrez, Kellogg’s CEO since April 1999, is credited with shaping a major corporate and marketing overhaul at Kellogg, narrowing the company’s primary focus to cereal and wholesome snacks and reducing the company’s debt. Under Gutierrez, Kellogg’s net sales rose from $6.2 billion in 1999 to $8.8 billion last year, a 43 percent increase. Earnings per share increased 131 percent, from 83 cents to $1.92, and cash flow went up 82 percent, from $529 million to $961 million. He is known as a charismatic and approachable executive, widely admired in business circles for reviving a flagging company.