Mary Thompson is a transformational CEO with more than three decades of experience in the food, retail and industrial sectors. She is known as a strategic and innovative leader who balances short- and long-term goals while driving breakthrough, profitable growth. A truly global executive, Mary has led multi-billion-dollar businesses in the U.S., Europe, Russia and Asia. She is an experienced director and collaborative leader that is prepared to make an immediate impact on a private or public company board.
Mary spent twenty-six years with Cargill, the iconic $130B global food and industrial company, where she built a reputation based on agility and execution. She pursued roles of increasing responsibility, serving as President for six different businesses across Cargill’s product portfolio. She doubled the returns of its $2B foodservice meat business through acquisition, customer/market development initiatives and supply chain optimization. Mary’s other achievements include returning a failing $200M business to profitability, doubling the retail poultry business by launching a 50/50 JV in the UK, and driving the global implementation of the company’s ERP system while improving profitability of a $1B food business.
Most recently as CEO of Bonduelle Fresh Americas (a packaged salad company with revenues of $800M), Mary was responsible for the integration of the formerly PE-backed business into its French parent company. She developed a bold new strategic path to significant revenue growth while executing an overhaul of the leadership team. Mary understands the power of talent in business transformation; under her leadership, employee engagement increased by 40% despite COVID-19, and rapid change throughout the organization. Her teams have been recognized for industry-leading achievements in excellence in operations, worker safety, sustainability, customer service and innovation.
Mary serves on the board of Native Microbials, Inc., a cutting-edge animal health biotechnology company. She previously served on the board of Catallia Mexican Foods, a private food manufacturer. In her board work, she has worked to define ESG strategy and goals, open new revenue channels and staff for operational excellence. Her professional association and nonprofit board experience includes United Fresh, Wichita Cargill Cares Council, and Junior Achievement.
Mary has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and an MBA from Columbia University. She volunteers with local organizations that focus on creating opportunities for children, food accessibility and sustainable horticulture. She lives with her husband and three children in California where she is an avid skier, hiker and gardener.