SECAUCUS, NJ. — Hartz, a leading pet care manufacturer, announced the appointment of Tina Le Lay to president and chief operating officer, and Dai Kageyama to vice president of marketing. According to the company, the new leadership appointments come on the heels of Hartz’s transition to focusing on cats and dogs.

Through its transition, Hartz is no longer a one-stop shop for all pets; instead the company has honed its focus on its signature dog and cat product portfolio. The move has been supported by Hartz’s parent company Unicharm, a global CPG company based in Tokyo. Unicharm has provided Hartz with innovation, technology and marketing support, allowing the brand to transition its portfolio into more premium products focused on canines and felines.

Le Lay has been with Hartz for more than 17 years, having previously spearheaded the company’s marketing efforts for its cat treat, dog treat, animal health, hygiene and toy product categories. She most recently served as Hartz’s chief marketing officer, during which she directed the development of the “Unconditional Love” brand platform and national campaign that celebrated the rewards and challenges shared between pets and their owners.

“Hartz is nearly 100 years old — there aren’t many brands with our history that have managed to remain relevant for the next generation,” Le Lay said. “Meta and TikTok are where the younger pet parent especially chooses to spend time, prompting us to reevaluate how we approach our content. What does it mean to be truly social-first?

“I’ve had the honor of serving Hartz in a range of capacities for a long time,” she added. “The biggest lesson learned is that authenticity and insights must be at the core of everything we do. Our aim as we develop our products is to always delight both pet parent and pet.”

Kageyama most recently served as senior director of marketing – cat treats at Hartz, leading the marketing initiatives for the company’s Delectables brand. Under his leadership, Delectables has grown to become the No. 1 brand of wet cat treats and No. 2 brand of overall cat treats, according to Hartz. Kageyama oversaw the company’s “Deliciously De-Lick-able Delectables” integrated campaign for the Squeeze Up and Lickable Treat sub-brands, which included trending clips on TikTok.

In his elevated role, Kageyama will oversee all Hartz categories while also directly managing Delectables, in which he will focus on driving the brand’s market share and expand its reach.

“It’s my mission to ensure that the sub-brands are each uniquely developed as well as meaningfully connect back with the Delectables Masterbrand,” he said. “For the year ahead, our goal will be to reach all cat parents and show them how they can treat and bond with their cats better than ever before. I especially look forward to communicating our upcoming news and product innovations.”

In addition to Le Lay and Kageyama’s promotions, Hartz has also elevated other leadership:

  • Tatsuya Suto has been promoted from president and chief executive officer to chairman and chief executive officer;
  • Frank Cursi has been promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer;
  • Shinji Fujita has been promoted to senior vice president of operations;
  • and Takeshi Ikegami has been promoted to senior vice president of research and development and regulatory.

“Tina and Dai were selected for these positions because they understand not only the pet landscape of today, but also the pet landscape of tomorrow,” Suto said. “They have demonstrated positive change for the company and our brands, while maintaining our core values and commitment to serve pet parents with the best products and education to care for pets as family members. I’m thrilled to congratulate them on these well-deserved milestones.”

Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.