William E. LaMothe devoted a lifetime career to the Kellogg Company, presiding over brands that have glorified the advertising industry with their constant creativity, their continual efficacy and their agility in fostering worldwide recognition. Called by Fortune magazine, "an apostle of quality," Bill LaMothe was a CEO who believed in the importance of high-quality advertising.
Upon graduation from Fordham University, LaMothe joined the Kellogg Company as a retail sales representative in the New York division. When his flair for advertising became apparent, he was promoted to vice president in charge of new product development and marketing. Campaigns executed under his aegis included "Tony the Tiger" and "They’re Gr-r-reat!" for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, "Put Snap, Crackle & Pop in Your Morning!" for Kellogg’s Rice Crispies, "Two Scoops of Raisins" for Kellogg’s Raisin Bran and "Leggo My Eggo!" for Eggo Waffles. LaMothe was elected chief operating officer in 1972 and CEO in 1979.
LaMothe’s belief in the value of grain-based food to meet the nutritional needs of the world’s population positioned the Kellogg Company for the dramatic growth it has experience worldwide.
Between 1979 and 1991, when LaMothe officially retired, Kellogg annual sale grew by $4 billion and its share value increased twelve-fold in 12 years.
Throughout his career, LaMothe was an outspoken advocate for advertising. He served as chairman of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the organization that embodies the industry’s self-regulatory units, the National Advertising Division and the National Advertising Review Board. LaMothe battled tirelessly for free enterprise, organizing forces in the late 1970s to mount a successful campaign against the FTC’s "Shared Monopoly Case" targeting the ready-to-eat cereal industry. LaMothe was a founder of the Advertising Educational Foundation, helping to raise $10 million for its 1983 launch and was later appointed a member of the board.