CAMDEN, N.J., APRIL 16, 2001 – Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) today announced the reorganization of its North American operations into two separate business units, North American Soup and North American Beverages and Sauces. The realignment places all of Campbell’s soup businesses in North America, including retail, foodservice and away from home ventures, in one organization. It also aligns Campbell’s beverage, sauce and prepared foods businesses into a single unit with dedicated executive leadership.
As part of the realignment, Campbell is shifting certain functional responsibilities formerly handled by its single North America division, including supply chain, sales, marketing services, finance, information systems and human resources, into its newly-formed corporate matrix organization. In the past two months, Campbell has created new senior-level positions to oversee sales, strategy and business development, and supply chain to better leverage the company’s scale and to ensure corporate resources are fully utilized across all business units.
In announcing the new business structure, Campbell President and Chief Executive Officer Douglas R. Conant said, “Our number one priority is to revitalize our North American Soup business. We have made important progress this year with significant improvement in consumer purchases. This new organizational alignment is designed to sharpen our focus on consumer marketing and competitive strategies for soup. In addition, the balance of our North American businesses, including such outstanding brands as “V8” and “V8 Splash,” “Prego,” “Pace” and “Franco-American,” are vital to our overall success and require a heightened level of executive attention.”
Conant, who became Campbell’s CEO on January 8, added, “These two business units will have full financial accountability for their respective areas of responsibility. With this new design, they will now be afforded more time to develop winning strategies and outstanding marketing programs since they will no longer be responsible for administering their functional support areas. In essence, they will be able to concentrate more on our consumers and our competition. We now have the right structure to drive our business going forward.”
Campbell announced that Andrew Hughson, 46, will become president of the new North American Soup division, reporting directly to Conant. Previously, Hughson was president of U.S. Soup and Sauce. A search is underway for the head of North American Beverages and Sauces, who will also report directly to Conant.
Commenting on Hughson’s appointment, Conant said, “Andrew has demonstrated strong leadership and delivered excellent results in several assignments since joining Campbell in 1996. As President of Campbell Canada, he was the driving force behind the ‘one more bowl’ campaign that led to significant increases in consumer soup purchases. As President of Asia Pacific, he refocused our business in that region on its highest growth opportunities, including Arnotts in Australia. Most recently, as head of U.S. Soup and Sauce, he played a pivotal role in the increase we have seen in consumer purchases. Now he will focus his considerable talents solely on our key North American soup business.”
Campbell also announced that F. Martin Thrasher, 50, President of Campbell North America, is leaving the company to pursue other career opportunities. Thrasher joined Campbell in 1988 and led businesses in Canada, Europe and Asia, as well as the U.S.
Thrasher said, “Campbell Soup is a unique company with great brands and great people, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with both. I am proud of my record and of the teams I have led. I am especially gratified by the improvement in our U.S. soup and sauce businesses this year. The time is right for me to consider other opportunities. I wish Doug Conant and his team every success.”
Conant said, “Marty has been a significant contributor to our Company in many roles. His leadership, commitment and unique spirit have earned him the respect and gratitude of colleagues across Campbell Soup Company.”
Forward – Looking Statements
This release contains “forward – looking statements” which reflect the company’s current expectations about its future performance. These forward-looking statements rely on a number of assumptions and estimates which could be inaccurate and which are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could vary materially from those anticipated or expressed in any forward- looking statement made by the company. Please refer to the company’s most recent Form 10-K and subsequent filings for a further discussion of these risks and uncertainties. The company disclaims any obligation or intent to update the forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.
About Campbell Soup Company
Campbell Soup Company is a global manufacturer and marketer of premium quality soup, sauces, beverages, biscuits, confectionery, and prepared food products. The company owns a portfolio of more than 20 market-leading brands each with more than $100 million in sales. They include “Campbell’s” soups worldwide, “Erasco” soups in Germany and “Liebig” soups in France, “Pepperidge Farm” cookies and crackers, “V8” and “V8 Splash” juices, “Pace” Mexican sauces, “Prego” pasta sauces, “Franco American” pastas, “Swanson” broths, “Homepride” sauces in the United Kingdom, “Arnott’s” biscuits in Australia and “Godiva” chocolates around the world. The company is ably supported by more than 22,000 employees worldwide. For more information on the company, visit Campbell’s website on the Internet at www.campbellsoup.com.