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Retired Vice Chairman
General Mills, Inc.
Upon his retirement in October 2004, Raymond Viault was vice chairman of General Mills. As vice chairman, he led the integration of the General Mills Pillsbury businesses. In this role, Viault oversaw all functional and business unit integration efforts and led the integration teams from both organizations.
Ray Viault was named vice chairman of General Mills in January 1996 and was elected to the board of directors the following month. Initially, he was responsible for the company's international operations and corporate financial functions. In May 1998, his operating responsibilities were significantly expanded to include many of the company's domestic divisions. Mr. Viault had overall responsibility for the meals division, baking products division, Pillsbury U.S., and bakeries and food service divisions. He also served on the board of directors for Cereal Partners Worldwide.
Mr. Viault joined General Mills after a distinguished 26-year career in the international and domestic food industry. Prior to joining General Mills, he was president and chief executive officer of Kraft Jacobs Suchard, based in Zurich. In that position, he was responsible for Kraft General Food's businesses throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, generating combined annual sales in excess of $10 billion. Mr. Viault served as chief executive officer of Jacobs Suchard A.G. from the time of its acquisition by Kraft General Foods in 1990 until 1993, when he assumed his broader responsibilities. His 20-year career with Kraft General Foods also included major U.S. marketing and general management assignments, such as president of Maxwell House Coffee Company and vice president, general manager of the desserts division.
Mr. Viault earned his bachelor's degree from Brown University and his MBA from Columbia Business School.
He is a board member of Newell Rubbermaid and VF Corporation and a board member of Cadbury Schweppes, PLC. He also the President of the board of trustees for the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and a board member of the Safeway Inc.
Mr. Viault was born in New York City on September 19, 1944. He has three grown children: Lisa, Deborah, and Russell. He and his wife, Lucille, live in Jupiter, Fla.