Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) said chief executive David Mackay announced his plans to step down, and he will be succeeded by chief operating officer John Bryant, effective January 2, 2011. The cereal giant also reaffirmed its 2010 and 2011 sales and profit forecasts.

Mackay has been president of Kellogg since September 2003 and chief executive officer since December 31, 2006. Mackay joined Kellogg Australia as group product manager in 1985.

I am pleased to pass the baton to John, whose management capabilities and wealth of experience have prepared him well to drive our business agenda for 2011 and beyond, Mackay said.

Bryant, who joined Kellogg in 1998, has led the Kellogg North America and Kellogg International business units, served as chief financial officer from 2002 to 2004 as well as from 2006 to 2009, and assumed his current role of chief operating officer in 2008.

For fiscal 2010, the company still expects internal net sales to be down about 1 percent, currency-neutral earnings per share growth of 4 percent to 5 percent. For 2011, Kellogg still expects low single-digit internal net sales growth and low single-digit earnings per share growth on a currency-neutral basis.

For the third quarter ended Oct. 2, the company posted lower profit and sales, hit by weaker performance in some of its core cereal markets, continued competitive intensity, and the impact of the cereal recall. Kellogg reported net earnings of $338 million or 90 cents a share, compared with $360 million or 94 cents a share a year earlier. Sales fell 4 percent to $3.2 billion.

On October 21, Kellogg cut full-year 2010 forecast to reflect the operating challenges.

Kellogg, with sales of nearly $13 billion in 2009, is the world's leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of convenience foods, including cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit-flavored snacks, frozen waffles, and veggie foods.

Shares of Kellogg ended Friday's trading at $49.50 on the NYSE.