Ricardo Migueláñez. @rmiguelanez
Our Who's Who profile for June will leave a sweet taste in your mouth, as we feature Xavi Pons, current general director of Mars Iberia, a company which could easily be recognized by a single product but which actually has a large portfolio of products and brands in Spain.
Pons, who's originally from Barcelona, is married with three children. He was born in 1970, has a degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and he has helmed the company since January of 2012.
In the beginning of his career he worked for several different Spanish multinationals. He joined Mars UK as Marketing Director in 2011 and, after seven years holding different titles within that unit, he returned to Spain to become Sales Director for Mars in March of 2008.
When Wrigley shareholders approved a merger with Mars by a huge majority—a deal worth 23 billion dollars—and it was completed at the end of 2008, Pons took over Wrigley's sales department at the beginning of 2009, and later he undertook the position of General Director.
Pons is currently responsible for the company's growth and development strategy in Portugal and Spain, leading a team of more than 450 people working for well-known brands such as M&M’s, Twix, Maltesers, Mars, Snickers, Bounty, Milky Way, Galaxy and Uncle Bean’s, as well as gum and candy brands such as Orbit, 5, Doublemint, Boomer, Skittles, Sugus and Solano. Mars Iberia also works with pet foods such as Whiskas, Pedigree, KiteKat, Cesar, Frolic, Sheba, Catisfaction and Catsan, which are sold in Spain under Xavi Pons' watchful eye.
The company is seeing good results, and Mars Spain announced in March that it expected revenues to increase by 6% this year, to 542 million euros.
Those who know him say that these results aren't surprising, since his "extensive experience in mass market products, due to holding various executive posts since he joined Mars in 2001" is helping the company excel despite the many challenges faced by the industry.
Outside of work, Pons is kind and accessible (that was my impression when I met him recently at an event in Madrid), and he has a very active and healthy lifestyle. Most of his hobbies are related to outdoor activities. For example, he likes to run on the beach, especially with his kids. He also enjoys a good book.