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Pung Speaker Series: Kellanova CFO outlines the path to success

By Taylor Hindman, student writer
Monday, April 1, 2024

On Feb. 15, the Roy S. Pung Executive Speaker Series welcomed Brian Boosi (B.A. Finance ’04), chief financial officer of Kellanova’s North America division. Kellanova, known as the Kellogg Company prior to the 2023 spinoff of the U.S. cereal business, encompasses snack-food brands like Pringles, Cheez-Its and Pop-Tarts. Boosi provided valuable insights into the financial strategies driving the company’s success.

Boosi joined Kellogg in 2003 as an intern working in investment relations and corporate planning. When he graduated from Michigan State University, Boosi continued at Kellogg full-time as a sales finance analyst.

Throughout the years, he climbed the corporate ladder while relocating eight times, including to Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom, gaining rich experiences that shaped his professional and worldly outlook. Internationally, Boosi described his workload as “case studies,” while building new plants in Ontario, transforming the UK cereal business and ultimately ascending to the role of CFO within North America.

“I wanted to create more options, and that is something that I encourage as you look into your future careers,” he said of his motivation for taking on such career moves. “Don’t focus just on promotion. Focus on, ‘Does this job give me more options than the last one?’”

The Kellogg Company restructuring process, which Boosi referred to as “the spin” of October 2022, removed nearly 30% of the organization and resulted in two separate publicly traded companies: W.K. Kellogg Co. and Kellanova. Kellanova is now a global snacking and international breakfast company, while W.K. Kellogg Co. operates the U.S., Canada and Caribbean cereal business.

“The key part about Kellonova is [we have] differentiated brands, and this is why I love working there. If you don’t have differentiation, then why [and how] do you exist? This is the reason again why I am excited to work here: because these brands already are differentiated and play a role in the category that others can’t,” Boosi said.

Boosi dedicated a good portion of his presentation to guiding and developing the minds of tomorrow’s business leaders with advice:

  • If you can’t explain something, it means you don’t understand it.
  • Get close to supply chain and sales early in your career.
  • Calibrate yourself to your standards, not your peers.
  • Be honest with yourself on what sacrifices you are willing to make to advance your career. They can change over time.
  • Your career progression will not move as fast as you want it to. Be patient and trust that things are working behind the scenes.

Boosi also noted that one of the most important pieces of advice he can share is to maintain physical health. In today’s fast-paced world, he said, it’s easy to become captivated by work, but he emphasized the importance of slowing down and prioritizing personal well-being. In his free time, Boosi enjoys traveling, exploring “up north” Michigan and pursuing a hobby of collecting coins.

More information on the upcoming 2023–24 Pung Speaker Series, as well as information on past events, is available via the Full-Time MBA program.

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