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Campbell Soup begins search for new CEO as Denise Morrison retires

She will be replaced by board member Keith Mcloughlin in the interim. Credit: Business Wire

Campbell Soup has announced that Chief Executive Officer Denise Morrison is set to retire after seven years at the helm of the company.

Morrison’s departure leaves only 23 women as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. 

She will be replaced by board member Keith McLoughlin in the interim while Campbell Soup looks for a replacement. 

The American firm said that McLoughlin was “a talented and experienced business leader” and noted that his familiarity with the company and its corporate strategy meant that he is an ideal choice to take over the business in the short-term. 

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Morrison was appointed CEO of Campbell Soup in August 2011 and has over 30 years in the food and beverage sector, spending time at Nabisco, Nestlé and Pepsi-Cola respectively. 

Under Morrison’s leadership, the firm has completed several high-profile acquisitions in recent months including a $4.87bn deal for snack company Synder’s-Lance and a $700mn buyout of Pacific Foods, an organic soup and broth maker. 

Speaking of her departure, Morrison said: “I am proud of Campbell’s accomplishments and how we have transformed our portfolio amid changing consumer tastes for food and health and well-being. 

“It has been an honour to lead this iconic company and exceptional team, and I am confident that Campbell will enjoy continued success for many years to come.”

Campbell Soup also announced its third-quarter results today noting that net sales increased 15%, reflecting its recent acquisition of Snyder’s-Lance. Meanwhile, the company said it made a net loss of $393mn during the quarter. 

Campbell’s chairman Les C Vinney added: “Denise has been a passionate advocate and leader over her 15 years with the company. She has made many important contributions over the past seven years as Chief Executive Officer to reposition Campbell in the rapidly changing food industry. 

“Denise has been able to significantly transform Campbell’s portfolio into the faster-growing snacking category with the acquisition of Snyder’s-Lance and increased the company’s focus on health and well-being with brands like Pacific Foods.”