General Mills Customer Story

General Mills is a leading global food company whose purpose is to make food the world loves. Its brands include Cheerios, Annie’s, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Häagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, BLUE and more.

SUMMARY

To deliver effective oversight during COVID-19, the General Mills board needed the right information at the right time delivered quickly and securely.

For General Mills, Diligent served an important role in its crisis response, said Ben Backberg, Senior Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary. Board members received notifications instantly through a dedicated communication channel, separate from the chaos and vulnerabilities lurking in their email inbox. Strictly encrypted messages delivered an additional layer of protection—and peace of mind.

Furthermore, Diligent’s integrated solutions empower boards with modern governance features that enable remote work swiftly and at scale—including virtual data rooms, action-item tracking and secure link sharing for video conferences.

BACKGROUND

General Mills’ board of directors started using Diligent Boards in 2011 as a secure solution for board meeting management. Prior to using Diligent, the organization was using a paper process, which didn’t offer the efficiencies or protections the corporate secretary group needed. In 2019, the board added Diligent Messenger, an integrated messaging app that centralized their board messages and ensured all communication to and from directors was encrypted.

When the COVID-19 crisis hit, the Diligent solution enabled the General Mills board to respond swiftly and effectively to work at-home requirements. The corporate secretary group was able to continue operations remotely, including scheduling board and committee meetings and securely delivering regular COVID-19 updates to the board.

THE SOLUTION

Secure Messaging:
Diligent Messenger enables General Mills’ board to get important information to directors while keeping it away from prying eyes and hackers. Directors receive messages through a single application they can access securely from any approved device. Diligent Messenger functionality mirrors text messaging with the ability to send attachments.

Messaging is protected by log-in authentication and email controls that prevent “copy and paste” email forwarding. Strict encryption and permissions keeps private messages private. If a device is lost or stolen, Diligent’s customer success managers can have the device remotely wiped to protect board materials.

A Secure Meeting and Communication Platform:
Diligent Boards further strengthens the board’s ability to share critical information in a secure environment. Through strict encryption and permissions, sensitive communications remain secure. Meanwhile, virtual “rooms” and workflows support committees, collaboration, and modern governance functions like virtual shareholder meetings.
– Diligent protects sensitive information with strict encryption, authentication, and permissions.
– Diligent safeguards board operations even more by keeping messages and meetings within a single, secure ecosystem.
– Diligent empowers swift, seamless remote operations and modern governance.

THE RESULTS

Centralized Communication:
With Diligent, alerts, notifications, messages, and meeting materials for General Mills’ board and committees all are housed within one secure ecosystem. Important information doesn’t get lost in email inboxes, and directors stay updated in real-time.

Secure Collaboration:
Strictly encrypted messaging across a secure platform gives General Mills’ directors extra confidence for conducting operations and collaborating on sensitive issues.

Strengthened Capabilities for Modern Governance
The General Mills board is able to work securely from anywhere at any time, with the capability to easily send secure messages and access important materials.
– The board has one dedicated, protected channel for accessing board materials, sharing information, and conducting business.
– Messages and notifications sent and received in real-time keep everyone in the loop.
– Directors can immediately and securely access information from any device.

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If we didn't have Diligent Entities…we would, on a daily basis, be going blind. It would be a constant fire drill of looking for information, digging through minute books to find information, looking through files to find information and having everything electronically and in one central location makes your life a lot easier. You don't have those last-minute fire drills. You can answer with confidence that you have the information and it's correct.

Carrie TindalSenior Paralegal, Corporate Governance, Sysco Corporation

Diligent Entities allowed us to centralize corporate data in one place, whether owned by legal, finance, tax or treasury.

Susanne MarstonVP and Chief Counsel, Eaton

You only have to deal with data once instead of multiple times. You’re just using your time in a more optimal way that enables you to cast your attention to higher-value elements.

Samantha WellingtonSVP, Chief Legal Officer & Secretary at TriNet

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