A highly experienced Chief Marketing Officer committed to building strong and sustainable brands and leading consumer-driven innovation and marketing, Hanne Søndergaard is an acclaimed speaker on the changing role of the CMO to embrace the global sustainability goals as well as the food industry’s responsibility to positively influence consumer behaviour.
She is a firm believer that the global food industry should help consumers live a healthy and sustainable life through inspiration, education and products. She sees the “new natural” as a defining trend, implying that consumers expect much more than pure dairy with no additives. They expect full transparency, sustainability and innovative products that match their modern lifestyles.
Since 2016, Hanne has been the Chief Marketing Officer and Member of the Executive Management Group at the farmer-owned dairy cooperative Arla Foods, a global business with sales in more than 120 markets and the world’s largest producer of organic dairy products.
Here, Hanne is heading the global Marketing and Innovation team with overall responsibility for developing global brands and categories as well as innovation and technology, marketing excellence including digital marketing, and consumer insights. She is also heading the global Sustainability and Communication teams to ensure that Arla builds trust through action and transparency. She comments on Arla's global brands, purpose, sustainability approach, innovation strategy and nutritional guidelines, as well as the dairy cooperative's extensive efforts to create better food habits for the next generation.
Hanne emphasizes the unique energy and opportunities that arise from the collaboration with Arla’s farmer-owners to meet the demands from the consumers. In fact, farming has been the common thread throughout Hanne’s life. She grew up on a farm and has, throughout her entire career, worked closely together with famers to combine world-class dairy farming practices, commercial excellence and key technologies to create long-term value for the owners.
Since joining Arla Foods in 1989, Hanne has had a number of marketing, sales and commercial roles, whereof she has worked for a number of years in Arla UK. Hanne joined Arla’s global team in 2010 as Senior Vice President of the BSM category, where she also took on the responsibility of the Arla Foods brand, before becoming Senior Vice President of Global Categories and Brands in 2012.
Hannes holds a master’s degree in Economics from Aarhus School of Business.
Food is not only a big part of Hanne’s professional life, but also her private life. Hanne is a real foodie, extremely fond of spending hours in the kitchen trying out new recipes and always on the look-out for new, exciting food experiences.