A Conversation with Victoria B. Mars YC ’78, Chairman of the Board, Mars, Inc.

Gordon Grand Fellowship Series

January 25, 2017, 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. EST

Please join us on Wednesday, January 25 for the Gordon Grand Lecture: A Conversation with Victoria B. Mars YC '78, Chairman of the Board for Mars, Inc. Ms. Mars will be joined in conversation by Ravi Dhar, George Rogers Clark Professor of Management and Marketing & Director of the Center for Customer Insights.

Named for Gordon Grand YC ’38, the former president and CEO of Olin Corporation, the Gordon Grand Fellowship Series promotes the exchange of ideas between business and academia by inviting business leaders to visit Yale for discussions with students and faculty.

This event is open to the PUBLIC.


Speaker Biography

Victoria B. Mars is the Chairman of the Board for Mars, Incorporated, a role she assumed in April 2014. Victoria is a fourth generation member of the Mars family whose great-grandfather, Frank C. Mars, founded the company in 1911. With $35bn in net sales and 80,000 Associates across 78 countries, Mars is one of the world’s largest and most respected family businesses. The company is the global leader in chocolate, gum, and petcare and is home to some of the best-loved brands in the world.

Victoria has worked for the family business for over 37 years - or longer if you count the summer she spent packing M&Ms boxes in the factory, a job she says gave her a great appreciation of the importance every function plays in delivering a quality product to the consumer. During her time, Victoria has been involved in many aspects of the business, beginning in 1978 in Haguenau, France, where she first served as Assistant Brand Manager for MILKY WAY® and where she put to use her love of the French language which she learnt at University.

After completing her MBA from the Wharton School in 1984, Victoria returned to the business and joined Mars Electronics International, which at the time was the leading global manufacturer of unattended payment systems, as the Director of their Marine Systems Division. In 1986, she moved back to Chocolate, and joined Dove, International, a Burr Ridge, Illinois based company acquired by Mars which became the foundation for its world famous Dove® Chocolate brand, as joined head of the finance, procurement and human resources functions.

In 1997 Victoria took on a brand new challenge as Mars’ first Ombudsman. The role was a natural fit for Victoria who believes that Associates are the pride of the Mars business and that their wellbeing in the workplace should be a top priority. Committed to ensuring that Mars remains a great place to work for Associates, at every stage of their personal and professional lives, Victoria built a strong team around her, which has been providing Associates with an informal and impartial environment where they can seek advice on work-related issues for over 18 years.

Victoria has been a member of the Mars Board of Directors since 2006. In addition to being Chairman, she serves on the Benefit Funding & Investment Oversight Committee.

Outside of the business, Victoria is a member of several boards including The Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, a social impact fund created by Mars and Danone that aims to invest €120 million over the next decade in projects aimed at increasing the productivity of smallholder farmers, the Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia, The Salzburg Global Seminar based in Washington DC and Salzburg, Austria, and The Center for Large Landscape Conservation in Bozeman, Montana.

Victoria graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in administrative sciences and German and French languages and holds a master’s degree in finance from the Wharton School of Business. She is a cat lover who enjoys the mountains, traveling with her husband, children and grandchildren and likes skiing, cycling, and hiking.

Edward P. Evans Hall
165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

A Conversation with Victoria B Mars, YC '78, Chairman of the Board, Mars, Inc