The former CEO of Pinnacle Foods has been named as the new head of Campbell Soup Co., marking the latest development in a tumultuous year for the iconic company.
Mark Clouse, a food industry veteran who also has held executive positions at Mondelez and Kraft Heinz, will be Campbell’s president and CEO, the company announced Dec. 20. He succeeds interim chief Keith McLoughlin, who took over after Denise Morrison was forced out in May.
Clouse headed Pinnacle for about two years, until it was acquired by Conagra Brands for $8.1 billion earlier this year. Under his leadership, shares in Pinnacle rose 54%.
The leadership change caps a year in which Campbell was challenged by an activist investor who insisted on new leadership and a new direction for the company. Campbell accommodated the investor, Daniel Loeb of Third Point LLC, by putting two Third Point allies on its board of directors and allowing Third Point to have a say in Clouse’s selection. The company is also moving to divest its fresh food and international businesses.
“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,” board chairman Les Vinney said in a statement.