NEWS12 February 2024

Arla appoints first head of insight

Europe News People Retail

DENMARK – Toy company Mattel’s Michael Swaisland has joined Danish-Swedish dairy producer Arla Foods to take up the newly created role of global head of insight and analytics.

Michael Swaisland

Swaisland was previously head of insights and analytics for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Mattel, a role he had held for five years, working on the company’s brands, including Barbie, Fisher-Price and Hot Wheels.

Arla has created the role to focus more closely on consumer centricity. The company is bringing together consumer and shopper insights, analytics and date science/modelling, the innovation science teams and marketing transformation, with Swaisland leading the newly combined pillars.

Arla is the owner of brands including Lurpak, Anchor, Cravendale and Castello.

Patrik Hansson, chief marketing officer at Arla, said: “With Michael joining as head of insight and analytics, we will accelerate our next generation marketing journey and our commitment to transforming Arla into an even more consumer-centric organisation.”

Hanson added: “Michael has experience from other companies leading this journey. I have come to know Michael as a curious and ambitious leader that has a good match to our Arla values so I am really looking forward to welcoming him as part of the team.”

Prior to joining Mattel in 2019, Swaisland’s career included senior insight and innovation roles at Unilever and Asahi.

Arla is a Danish-Swedish multinational cooperative headquartered in Viby, Denmark, and owned by farmers in Denmark, Sweden, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and the UK.

Swaisland said: “Insights and data are tools to unlock future success, but curiosity and a hunger to be better are what fuels that success. Through my interactions so far with leaders at Arla, I have heard and sensed that hunger. The desire to drive greater impact through being more attuned to societal needs, wants and shifts. Realising that being a little uncomfortable is a good thing. Being a part of that future, with Arla, that excites me.”