Mars has appointed Mike Gallacher to the role of general manager for Mars Petcare in the UK.

He will assume the role on 1 January and will be based at Mars Petcare’s Leicestershire HQ.

Gallacher joined Mars in 1996 and has worked in a number of senior roles within the company across the UK, Europe and Asia- Pacific, most recently in Singapore.

He takes over the role from Mark Johnson, who has been promoted to regional president for Mars Petcare Russia. Johnson, who had been general manager since 2006 after joining the company in 1987, takes up his Moscowbased role in early 2012.

“I am really looking forward to coming back to Mars in the UK and sustaining the great work that Mark Johnson has led while in the role,” said Gallacher. “I am excited to be part of our ambition to build a better world for pets in the UK.” Mars Petcare, whose brands include Pedigree, Whiskas, Sheba and Cesar, currently has a 38.1% share of the petcare market [SymphonyIRI 52w/e 10 September 2011]. Last month, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that Mars could call its Pedigree Jumbone a “long-lasting chewy treat” despite one underwhelmed pet owner complaining his dogs had demolished the product in “under a minute”. Mars told the ASA that tests had established the average Jumbone lasted three minutes 21 seconds, and that in comparison to more traditional soft treats, the product was therefore long lasting.