Campbell Soup Co. President and CEO Denise Morrison today abruptly announced her retirement effective immediately. Morrison, who has led the soup giant since 2011, gave no reason for her departure. Keith R. McLoughlin, a Campbell board member since 2016, has been named interim CEO.
McLoughlin will remain a member of the Board to facilitate an orderly transition in management while recently elevated Chief Operating Officer Luca Mignini focuses on the integration of newly acquired Snyder’s-Lance and Pacific Foods and stabilizing the company’s U.S. soup business.
Morrison’s retirement comes the same day Campbell’s released third-quarter results for fiscal 2018 that revealed a loss of $393 million, or $1.31 per share. Based on the outlook for the balance of the year, Campbell’s Chief Financial Officer Anthony DiSilvestro said the company is lowering its fiscal 2018 earnings guidance.
Morrison guided the soup giant’s strategic reorganization to better position the company to capitalize on the rapidly changing food industry landscape, while more closely aligning the business with the company’s three growth strategies: optimize the value of the core; increase health and well-being food, beverages and snacks; and, accelerate distribution and new business models.
In March 2018, Campbell’s completed its $6.1 billion acquisition of Snyder’s-Lance, the company’s sixth acquisition in five years and a strategic and transformative acquisition that created a $10-billion company with nearly half of its annual net sales in the faster-growing snacks category. In July 2017, Campbell’s agreed to acquire Pacific Foods for $700 million in cash.
Morrison is just the latest high-profile female CEO to depart industry. Earlier this month, Twinlab CEO Naomi Whittel announced she was leaving after two years at the helm to focus on projects aimed at engaging consumers with nutrition-related health messages.