Cereal maker General Mills (GIS - Get Report) said Wednesday that its board of directors elected COO Jeffrey Harmening as its new CEO beginning June 1. Current CEO Ken Powell is retiring next year, but will remain chairman during the transition period.

"General Mills has a long tradition of delivering top-tier returns that our shareholders have counted on for generations," Powell said. "We are focused on growth and feel strongly that Jeff is the right leader for the next leg of our journey."

General Mills' portfolio of brands includes Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Haagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker and Totino's.