USA– Campbell Soup Company has announced that its Board of Directors has elected Mark A. Clouse, 50, as President and CEO of the company effective Jan. 22, 2019.
Clouse to becomes the 14th CEO in Campbell’s 150-year history.
His appointment comes after the shock resignation of the former CEO of the company, Denise Morrison, was forced to retire in May 2018 after poor results even as the company strived to rid itself of the burden of its reliance on its vital soups business by acquiring a number of food companies to jumpstart growth and profitability.
Clouse, who previously served as CEO of Pinnacle Foods, Inc., will succeed Campbell’s interim President and CEO Keith McLoughlin, who will remain a Director of the company and will work closely with Clouse to ensure a seamless transition.
Clouse also has been elected a Director and will be a member of the Board.
Clouse brings more than 20 years of experience in the food industry, holding senior management positions at leading companies including Mondelēz International, Inc., Kraft Foods Inc. and Pinnacle Foods.
Throughout his career, Clouse has consistently demonstrated an ability to enhance growth and create shareholder value through investments in a company’s existing brands and through acquisitions, says Campbell in a statement.
“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,” said Les Vinney, Chairman of the Board.
“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 organizations 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.”
The appointment of Mark comes after a protracted dispute between hedge fund Third Point and Campbell, which has a 7% stake in the company, and their insistence that the company must change its direction if it is to remain one of America’s iconic companies.
Campbell announced plans to sell its international fresh food businesses to focus and improve the company’s portfolio, with the proceeds to be used to significantly reduce debt, as it seeks to improve its performance in the key American market.
Recently, the company and Third Point agreed on a blue print on the future of the company, one of which was to work together to recruit a new CEO for the business.
In a statement, Campbell says that Third Point had a hand in choosing Mark as the next CEO of the company.
“I am honored to lead Campbell and its portfolio of iconic brands into the next chapter of the company’s storied history,” said Clouse.
“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.”
Campbell says that during Clouse’s two-and-a-half-year tenure as CEO of Pinnacle Foods, Pinnacle consistently grew or maintained market share in each of its top categories, delivered double-digit adjusted EPS growth, and successfully integrated the Boulder Brands acquisition, creating significant shareholder value.
Clouse 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.
In 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.