Alumni Relations recently caught up with ANU College of Business and Economics Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee, and President and Chief Executive Officer of Kellogg Company, John Bryant (BComm 1987) in New York.
Mr Bryant attended the UN Climate Summit in New York where he announced Kellogg Company’s new commitment to support the livelihoods of 15,000 smallholder growers around the world. The commitment will enable improved productivity of smallholder farmers in Kellogg's agricultural supply chain, with a focus on rice, and support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
"Climate change threatens agriculture and food systems in many regions, making it more difficult to achieve food security," said Mr Bryant.
"As a food company, it's our responsibility to help ensure the long-term sustainability of key grains, including rice, and enable those who help grow and supply it," he said.
Mr Bryant runs the business from the Kellogg world corporate headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan, otherwise known as Cereal City. The Kellogg family founded the business there in 1906, and has created iconic products such as Corn Flakes, Special K, Nutri-Grain and Fruit Loops.
Kellogg products are now sold in 180 countries. Last year the company turned over revenue of almost $14.2 billion. More than one billion packets of cereal are sold each year in the United States alone.
Long before becoming one of the top business executives in the world, Mr Bryant spent a majority of his adolescence and early professional life on the other side of the world in Canberra, coming to ANU as a “townie”.
At age seven he moved to Canberra and was educated at St Edmund’s College from grade five to year 12.
''I didn't know what I wanted to do when I went to ANU. I did a commerce degree, because that's what I got into,'' he said.
''I remember graduating from ANU thinking, 'I want to be a chief financial officer of a public company', without knowing what that meant, and went off to the real world and really enjoyed business at the end of the day.''
''I spent five years with Deloitte and have a good background in accounting. And I went to business school in the States [the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania – which is now, incidentally, run by ANU alumnus Professor Geoffrey Garrett BA (Hons) 1981].
''I then did about four or five years in strategy consulting and joined Lion Nathan for about a year, and really enjoyed the company. But Kellogg gave me an offer I couldn't say no to. Kellogg was my client when I was consulting.''
Mr Bryant joined Kellogg in March 1998, and was promoted over the next eight years to a number of key financial and executive leadership roles. At age 35, he was appointed Chief Financial Officer. Shortly thereafter, he was also named the company’s Chief Operating Officer before being appointed its President and CEO in 2011.
Mr Bryant's wife, Alison (nee Bogg), was born and raised in Canberra and is also an ANU graduate with a double degree in Science and Economics (1991). They now call the United States home with their six children.
''We still have deep roots in Canberra,'' he said. ''I probably visit Australia once a year for work and I always make the side trip to Canberra.''
With reference from:
Doherty, M. (2012, March 15). Meet the ex-Canberra boy putting the snap, crackle and pop into a $13b cereal empire