Debra Ann Sandler
Chief Consumer Officer, Mars Chocolate North America
Ms. Debra Sandler is currently the Chief Consumer Officer at Mars Chocolate, North America. Mars Inc., is the maker and distributor of confections, snacks, pet food, and other products sold in more than 150 countries.
Prior to this position, Ms. Sandler was the Worldwide President for McNeil Nutritionals LLC, a Johnson & Johnson company. McNeil Nutritionals is responsible for developing J&J’s Nutritional Health platform with a portfolio of growth brands designed to provide consumers with nutrition based health care products that are scientifically proven and medically endorsed. McNeil Nutritionals’ major brand franchises include SPLENDA®, VIACTIV®, BENECOL® and LACTAID®.
Ms. Sandler also worked as the General Manager for the company’s North American business and was responsible for all aspects of Marketing, Sales, Operations, Communications and Quality Assurance in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. She was responsible for the highly successful consumer launch of SPLENDA® in the U.S. She also developed the ingredient marketing strategies, working with existing and potential new customers for the ingredient brand, and developed the global business strategies to drive both the consumer and ingredient product lines in core markets. Today, SPLENDA® is the number-one selling sugar substitute in the U.S.
Ms. Debra Sandler began her career at PepsiCo Inc., where she served for 13 years in a variety of marketing positions of increasing responsibility. Among the positions she held were Director of Brand Pepsi and Vice President of Marketing for the Caribbean and Latin American Division of Tricon Restaurants International (Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut). She joined the Johnson & Johnson organization in 1999 as Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for McNeil Specialty Products Company. She moved to the Personal Products Company of Johnson & Johnson as Vice President of Worldwide Marketing. In 2002, she returned to McNeil Nutritionals as Worldwide Group Vice President, Marketing.
Ms. Sandler has been recognized by Advertising Age as part of the “Power 50 Marketers Award for Excellence in Marketing” (2004), by Ebony magazine as one of the “Top 15 African American Female Executives in Corporate America”, by The Network Journal as one of the “Top 25 Influential Black Women in Business” and by Black Enterprise as one of the “Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America.” She has also been named one of the “Outstanding Women in Marketing & Communications.”
In 1982, Ms. Sandler received a BBA in International Trade from Hofstra University, and in 1998, received an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.