General Mills’ creative lead has left the company while it is in the middle of a creative review.
Bill Roden, director of creative and marketing services, has left General Mills and is pursuing an unspecified startup opportunity.
“We thank Bill for all he accomplished while at General Mills and wish him well as he starts his new adventure with a startup company,” General Mills spokesman Mike Siemienas said in a statement, adding that the company had no new information to share regarding its creative review or how Roden’s departure might impact the process.
“Working at General Mills was a real lucky break. I worked on some of the most famous brands in the known cosmos alongside smart, passionate marketers and scary-talented agencies,” Roden told Adweek. “It was fun instigating, agitating, provoking and championing ideas with the brand and agency teams that defied the usual CPG tropes and categorical thinking.
“However, those who know me know my heart lies in the outdoors, and I am again lucky to partner with former colleagues and clients to develop an outdoor industry think tank,” he added, describing the organization’s goal as helping “outdoor brands and organizations connect with new audiences and grow their spheres of influence through diversity and inclusion.”
He explained the group is currently “operating in stealth mode” but is preparing to launch a podcast featuring “industry leaders, celebrities, famous authors and other strong voices of influence to further our mission.”
“I’ll miss the General Mills work family and look forward to seeing all the amazing ideas on the walls come to life in big ways,” he concluded.
General Mills launched a review seeking new creative partners earlier this year, and has drawn attention for the harsh conditions of its process. These included no compensation for the pitch period itself, 120-day payment periods and General Mills retaining creative ownership of all creative concepts, whether or not it hires the agencies behind them, sources told Adweek.
Roden joined General Mills last June, following three years in marketing leadership roles at OtterBox. Before making the leap to client-side, he served as an executive creative director for Mithun, working with clients including General Mills, Popeyes, Land O’Lakes and KeyBank.