Russell Stokes appointed CEO of Kind North America amid push beyond the snack bar aisle

US – American healthy snack company Kind has announced the appointment of Russell Stokes as the new CEO of Kind North America, effective immediately. 

Stokes who recently joined the company from Mars and has been working as the company’s chief growth officer will report to Juan Martin, KIND’s Global President and CEO. 

“Since joining KIND earlier this year, I have been inspired by our team’s deep commitment to uphold the KIND Promise as we grow and expand,” said Stokes.  

“I’ve enjoyed watching this purpose-driven brand grow and evolve into the household name it is today, and I look forward to the work ahead of us.” 

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Previously Stokes held roles at Mars as Chief Strategy Officer, Whirlpool as its head of Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions, and at Boston Consulting Group where Stokes was a partner and managing director. 

“During his time at Mars, and then at Kind, Russell and I have worked in close partnership to further the company’s strategic growth,” said Juan Martin, Kind’s global president and CEO. 

“His passion for Kind’s vision and purpose, along with his more than two decades of experience leading global teams, will be a key driver to the ongoing success of our brand.” 

Stokes’ appointment comes amid an accelerated push by Kind during the past two years to move beyond its core bars to become a broader snacking company. 

 Since the beginning of 2020, Kind, which prioritizes the use of plant-based, nutrient-dense ingredients in its foods, has expanded into refrigerated items, chocolate, energy bars, frozen food, cereal and snack mixes.   

The pandemic has provided a boost to companies that prioritize health and wellness, and Kind has been among the beneficiaries.  

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Kind’s sales in the categories it competes in are back above their pre-COVID-19 peaks and are growing double digits this year, according to the company. 

Stokes will now be charged with positioning the company for future growth by moving it further beyond its snack bar roots, while simultaneously increasing its impact in the community and on the environment. 

In an interview, Stokes said his goal is to “accelerate our progress” toward these purposes. “There is a lot of innovation that we can do within these guardrails to grow the business even further.” 

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