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After a turbulent year, Campbell Soup has a new CEO.
The company said on 20 December that Mark Clouse, who has held executive positions at Pinnacle Foods and Mondelez International, will take over as president and CEO of the soup company in late January. Clouse will replace interim CEO Keith McLoughlin, who filled the role after Denise Morrison abruptly abandoned her post as CEO in May.
McLoughlin will remain on as a board director, and Clouse will also take a seat on the board.
Campbell spent the fall locked in a fight for control of the company with Third Point, a hedge fund led by activist investor Daniel Loeb. Last month, the two sides finally reached an agreement by expanding the Campbell board from 12 to 14 members. The hedge fund was also given a say in selecting the new CEO.
With the proxy fight behind it and Clouse at the helm, Campbell can lean into its plan to turn the company around by bolstering its most popular brands, focusing on its core US business and divesting from its international line and Campbell.
Clouse has the support of Campbell Soup shareholder and hedge fund Third Point. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the food industry, holding senior management positions at leading companies: he served as the CEO of Pinnacle, which includes Duncan Hines, Smart Balance and other food brands, for two-and-a-half years. He was at the helm of the company when it was acquired by Conagra earlier this year. Before that, Clouse was chief growth officer at Mondelez. And prior to joining Mondelez, he spent 20 years at Kraft.