EVP & COO, Dairy Foods
Chris Roberts is an accomplished senior executive with extensive global experience transforming businesses, developing new products, markets, and distribution channels. He has more than 30 years of experience in general management and business operations roles, and has held key sales and marketing positions within large international companies including Cargill, The Coca Cola Company and PepsiCo.
He is President of the $6 billion North American Foodservice Division of Cargill’s protein group. In his role, Mr. Roberts, is responsible for business strategy, mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, the product portfolio, operations and finance. In his previous role as President of Value Added Protein, Mr. Roberts integrated three independent operating units, creating a $3 billion foodservice enterprise which delivered earnings-after-tax (EAT) growth of 30% over the previous year. From 2011-2015, Mr. Roberts also led the Cargill Kitchen Solutions division to sustained volume, profit, net margin and EBITDA growth of 25%, 27%, 25% and 18%, respectively, while reducing the cost-to-serve by two percentage points.
Prior to joining Cargill in 2006, Mr. Roberts held positions of increasing responsibility at Coca Cola USA from 1999 to 2006. During that time he served as Vice President of Retail Marketing where he created and implemented their first shopper marketing strategy that resulted in portfolio volume growth of 10%. He also served as the Region Vice President for foodservice in both the Southeast and Southwest, and Managing Director of Sales Development at Coca Cola USA. From 1988 to 1999, Mr. Roberts held various brand, new product marketing and sales roles of increasing responsibility with the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo.
Mr. Roberts serves as Chair of the Cargill Foundation, is on the board of Young Life International (human resource committee). He also serves on the board and the governance committee as an outside director for Catallia Mexican Foods, a privately held Mexican food manufacturer. He has been a featured keynote speaker at numerous business forums focusing on leadership, innovation and business enterprise growth.
Mr. Roberts earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from The University of Illinois and a MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University, with concentrations in Marketing, Finance and Management Strategy.
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