|Dushan "Duke" Petrovich, a 1974 graduate and trustee of Knox College, has been named President of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. Petrovich has been with Wrigley for more than 30 years and will be responsible for the company's worldwide strategy, operations and business performance.
"Duke is the first generation in his family to be born in the U.S." said Knox College President Roger Taylor, '63. "He has never lost sight of Knox's mission to serve first generation and low income students and to encourage Knox's international diversity. Duke's leadership on the Knox board and the generosity that he and his wife, Nancy, have shown aregreat examples."
A Chicago native, Petrovich began his career with Wrigley in 1975, in the finance department. He later served as vice president, corporate controller and corporate treasurer. In his most recent role as senior vice president and chief administrative officer, Petrovich has been responsible for global supply chain, global procurement, information technology, human resources, corporate communications, global real
estate, and commercial operations in Latin America.
"Duke has played an important role in the transformation and ongoing growth of Wrigley throughout the years," said Wrigley Chairman Bill Wrigley, Jr, in a news release. "He has served on our Executive Leadership Team for more than 10 years, and has proven himself to be a strong and visionary leader. Given his experience, combined with his ability to respect the company's heritage while remaining focused on our future, Duke is the right leader at the right time for our company."
Earlier this month, Chicago-based Wrigley Company was acquired and became a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated. Mars President and CEO Paul S. Michaels said, "The combination of Duke's deep-seated understanding of Wrigley's operations, respect among the company's associates, and financial expertise makes him the ideal person to connect Wrigley into the Mars organization and build future growth for the business." Petrovich succeeds William D. Perez, president and CEO of Wrigley since October 2006.
Petrovich earned his bachelor's degree at Knox in economics. He also holds a master's degree in accounting from Roosevelt University and a certificate from the senior executive program at the University of Michigan. He has taught in the MBA program at Dominican University and has served on the boards of Montini High School in Chicago and the NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education in Washington, DC.
Petrovich was elected to the Knox College Board of Trustees in 2005. In 2007, Petrovich and his wife Nancy made a $250,000 gift in support of the renovation of Knox's Memorial Gymnasium and the naming of the basketball court in honor of long-time coach Tim Heimann. Petrovich is also president of the Wrigley Foundation and a member of the City of Chicago's Sister Cities Belgrade Committee.
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company produces confections including gum, mints, hard and chewy candies, lollipops, and chocolate. The Company has operations world-wide and distributes its brands in more than 180 countries.
("Duke" Petrovich. Story and photo submitted by Knox College.)