VERNON, British Columbia — Kevin Cole, former VP of marketing for Mars Petcare Canada, has joined True Leaf Pet Inc. as president of the company. True Leaf Pet produces functional hemp-based products for pets, which appear in more than 3,500 retail stores globally.
Cole succeeds Darcy Bomford, who has resigned as president but will remain director and CEO of the company.
With more than 20 years of experience in consumer-packaged goods industries and extensive knowledge of the pet industry, Cole will help accelerate growth for True Leaf Pet, expand brand penetration worldwide and specifically into Asia, launch educational campaigns about the benefits of cannabis products for companion animals and execute the company’s direct-to-consumer strategy.
Cole’s first major goal will be to bring a legally-compliant CBD product for pets to market.
“Our ability to successfully recruit top talent from the largest pet food company in the world is a testament to True Leaf’s vision to become a global leader in the cannabis-for-pets space,” Bomford said. “Kevin’s proven track record of growing top pet brands will be key to our continued strong growth. With Kevin at the helm of our pet business, we’re confident in True Leaf’s ability to become a household name in the pet industry like WHISKAS® and TEMPTATIONS®.”
Throughout his career, Cole has led consumer insight teams, strategic planning, marketing and sales initiatives, and filled e-commerce and project management roles. One of his most notable accomplishments at Mars Petcare was developing well-known cat food and treat brands WHISKAS and TEMPTATIONS.
Prior to Mars Petcare, Cole served as a marketing executive for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). There, he played a significant role in cultivating the market for Sensodyne, now the leading toothpaste brand in Canada.
“As an animal lover, a pet parent, and longtime pet care executive, I’m committed to finding new opportunities to improve the way we care for our four-legged family members,” Cole said. “I believe plant-based nutrition and specifically cannabis for pets will shape the future of pet care. This is why I joined True Leaf because it is, and will continue to be, the most trusted cannabis-for-pets brand.”
“In this emerging sector, consumer and retailer trust is a key ingredient to explosive growth. True Leaf has set the groundwork with its line of safe, legal and effective hemp-based products for pets. I’m excited to work with the team and lead the category transformation,” Cole concluded.
True Leaf Pet is a division of True Leaf Medicine International Ltd., a licensed producer of medicinal cannabis for the Canadian market founded in 2013.
Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.