Campbell Soup has named Mark Clouse, the former chief executive of Pinnacle Foods, as its new CEO, effective 22 January 2019.
With more than 20 years of experience in the food industry, Clouse has held senior management positions at companies such as Mondelēz International and Kraft Foods.
The appointment follows months of speculation over who would take charge of Campbell’s after Denise Morrison abruptly left the company in May. She has been replaced on an interim basis by Keith McLoughlin.
Hedge fund Third Point, which increased its stake in Campbell’s in August, supported the appointment of Clouse. Campbell’s said that the activist investor “provided constructive input into the CEO search process”.
During Clouse’s 2.5-year tenure as CEO of Pinnacle Foods, the company delivered double-digit adjusted EPS growth, and successfully integrated the Boulder Brands acquisition. He led Pinnacle from 2016 until earlier this year, when the company was offloaded to Conagra Brands in a deal worth $10.9 billion.
Clouse, 50, joined Pinnacle Foods from Mondelēz International, where he served as chief commercial officer and chief growth officer, with responsibility for the company’s growth strategy and key functions including corporate strategy, global marketing, global sales, and research, development and quality.
Throughout his 20-year tenure at Kraft, Clouse served in a range of leadership positions, managing food brands in developed markets and entrepreneurial global businesses in emerging markets such as Brazil and China.
Prior to joining Kraft, Clouse served in the US Army as a pilot. He is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and holds a degree in economics.
Campbell Soup chairman of the board Les Vinney said: “Mark Clouse is an outstanding leader with a proven track record of operational excellence, and we are excited to name him as Campbell’s next president and CEO.
“Mark’s leadership as CEO of Pinnacle Foods shows a clear track record of delivering solid revenue and earnings growth and generating significant value for shareholders. Over the last several months, the Campbell board conducted a thorough search process, and we are confident that Mark is the right person to continue our turnaround plan and lead Campbell to future growth. He brings a wealth of experience in the food industry, as well as a fresh perspective on the opportunities and challenges before us.
“Mark was the board’s top choice due to his success leading organisations through significant transformations and his history of delivering strong results. We are eager to begin working with him as we continue to build a stronger and more focused Campbell.”
Clouse said: “I am honoured to lead Campbell and its portfolio of iconic brands into the next chapter of the company’s storied history. I am committed to delivering Campbell’s strategic objectives and look forward to partnering with the board and working alongside the company’s many talented employees to deliver sustainable, long-term growth. I am confident that together we can build a prosperous future for Campbell and all of its stakeholders.”
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