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Jeff Harmening, chief executive of General Mills, has been appointed chairman of the board for the nation's largest and most influential trade group for consumer-packaged food companies.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) announced Thursday that Harmening will lead the industry group for the next two years. He succeeds Vivek Sankaran, the CEO of Albertsons, in the role.

“Jeff has already been a tremendous asset as a member of GMA’s Board of Directors, and I know he’ll be an excellent partner as chairman,” Geoff Freeman, GMA's chief executive, said in a prepared statement.

The century-old trade group is undergoing a period of self-assessment to better address and adapt to today's changing retail and consumer landscape.

“I’m thrilled to lead GMA’s Board of Directors as it enters into the next chapter in its storied history as the leading advocate for consumer packaged goods on Capitol Hill and around the country,” Harmening said in a prepared statement. “I’m encouraged by the new direction of the organization and look forward to working with Geoff and the rest of the Board during this pivotal time for the industry.”

Harmening joined GMA in 2017 when he became chief executive of Golden Valley-based General Mills.