American food company Mars Inc. selected Dr. Maria Velissariou as its new Chief Science Officer and Global Corporate Research & Development (R&D) Vice President, the company announced Thursday. In the role, the executive will assume leadership of quality and food safety, scientific and regulatory affairs at Mars and guide its R&D strategy in partnership with the company’s business segments.
The appointment comes as David Crean, who currently serves in the positions, prepares to retire in April 2021. When her new role becomes effecitive, Dr. Velissariou will report to Mars President of Innovation, Science, Technology & Mars Edge Jean-Christophe Flatin.
“With global population growth and increase of supply chain complexities, I’m motivated by the legacy of resources, research, and commitment of Mars to make a meaningful impact on the food industry,” Dr. Velissariou said in a statement. “As such, I’m honored and excited to join Mars and its dynamic community of associates to build upon their moment of positively disrupting the industry to stay relevant with consumers, while ensuring the best-in-class quality and food safety practices.”
Dr. Velissariou most recently served as Chief Science and Technology Officer at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), where she was in charge of science, technology, and policy strategies, and partnered with stakeholders to improve the food system. Over the course of her career, she has worked in R&D roles at PepsiCo and Kraft Foods.
“Given her past experiences, Maria is well-positioned to ensure we continue to evaluate and apply external provocation, learn from and expand our specialized network of expert peers while attracting world-class talent,” Flatin said in the release.