Snacks & Candy

Campbell Soup CEO Steps Down Abruptly

Board member Keith McLoughlin named interim chief executive

CAMDEN, N.J. -- Keith McLoughlin, a board member of The Campbell Soup Co., has succeeded Denise Morrison as CEO of the company, effective May 18. Morrison retired unexpectedly after 15 years with the company. McLoughlin, the immediate replacement, is the interim CEO and will lead the company until the board finds a new chief, according to the company’s recent third-quarter earnings call.

McLoughlin will remain a member of the board during this time.

Throughout her tenure with Campbell, Morrison helped recraft the brand's portfolio and formulations around better-for-you foods, according to the company. She implemented initiatives to remove artificial colors and flavors from Campbell's products, and said the brand would comply with ongoing GMO-labeling regulations.

“[Denise] has made many important contributions over the past seven years as CEO to reposition Campbell in the rapidly changing food industry,” said Les C. Vinney, chairman of Campbell’s board. “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. Her actions have helped to enhance the long-term growth potential of Campbell.”

McLoughlin takes over during a crucial time for Campbell, which experienced a decline in earnings in the third quarter while acquiring snack company Snyder’s-Lance. McLoughlin described the company’s recent earnings as “below expectations, unsatisfactory and disappointing.” On the call, he said he looks to increase company performance through reviewing operating plans, portofolio composition and the allocation of Campbell's resources, capital cost and people. In April, the brand put its core business operations, including its portfolios of soup, simple meals, snacks and shelf-stable beverages, under the leadership of Luca Mignini, Campbell’s president of global biscuits and snacks, as COO.

Before joining Campbell in 2016, McLoughlin held multiple roles over the course of 13 years with Electrolux AB. In 2011, he became president and CEO of the company and held that position until moving to Campbell. Earlier in his career, McLoughlin held leadership roles for more than two decades with U.S. conglomerate E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.

Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup produces foods and meals, such as soup and sauces, snacks and healthy beverages. Its brand portfolio includes Pepperidge Farm, Bolthouse Farms, Arnott’s, V8, Swanson, Pace, Prego, Plum, Royal Dansk, Kjeldsens, Garden Fresh Gourmet, Pacific Foods, Snyder's of Hanover, Lance, Kettle, Cape Cod, Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, Pop Secret, Emerald, Late July and others.

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