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May 11, 2022

General Mills hires next general counsel

Karen Wilson Thissen to join company from Ameriprise Financial

Minneapolis-based General Mills has hired Karen Wilson Thissen as general counsel and corporate secretary, effective June 6.

Thissen will join the company from Ameriprise Financial, where she most recently was general counsel and executive vice president. She succeeds Richard Allendorf, who will retire in August.

Thissen joined Ameriprise Financial, which at the time was part of American Express, in 2004 to work on complex litigation matters. During her 17-year career with the company, Thissen has held a number of positions and led global teams across various areas of expertise. She became general counsel in 2017.

Before moving in-house, Thissen worked as a trial lawyer and a partner at Faegre & Benson in Minneapolis, where she represented broker-dealer, asset manager and insurance clients on litigation and regulatory matters.

Karen Wilson Thissen

Allendorf joined General Mills in 1998. Before then he was in private practice with Shearman & Sterling and later Mackall Crounse & Moore.

General Mills’ brands include Cheerios, Nature Valley, Häagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Yoplait and Annie’s.

Jeff Harmening, chair and CEO of General Mills, says in a statement: ‘Karen brings a proven track record of strategic thinking and global experience, which is critical for General Mills’ continued success. As we continue to advance our growth, Karen’s sophisticated global legal experience will help move us forward across the many geographies we are honored to serve. And above all, her passion for developing people and culture makes her a natural addition to our team.’