CAMDEN, NJ, January 8, 2001 – Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) announced that Douglas R. Conant has been elected President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of the company, effective today. Conant, 49, was most recently President of Nabisco Foods Company where he led the $3.7 billion business to five consecutive years of double-digit earnings growth. He succeeds David W. Johnson, 68, and becomes the company’s 11th leader in its 132-year history.
Conant brings to Campbell 25 years of wide-ranging experience with three of the world’s leading food companies — Nabisco, Philip Morris Companies, Inc. (Kraft) and General Mills, Inc. He was President of Nabisco Foods Company, the snack and condiments division of Nabisco, Inc., since July 1995. The Federal Trade Commission has recently granted clearance for the sale of Nabisco Holdings to Philip Morris.
Philip E. Lippincott, Campbell’s Chairman, said, “Doug Conant’s track record is outstanding. He has made his mark strongly on the top and bottom line of every operation he’s led – setting a standard for success in the food industry. He’s a tested leader who wins with brands in the market and with people in the organizations he leads – a compelling combination that creates lasting results for shareowners, consumers and employees. Campbell has a strong brand portfolio, an excellent financial foundation and talented people. Doug understands what makes achieving business goals possible and what it takes to surpass them.”
Conant remarked, “Campbell is a premier company with a rich history of success. I am delighted to have the opportunity to help create a successful future by delivering premier results. We will set a standard of execution excellence to make a positive and powerful difference for shareholders, consumers and employees. Expect action.”
During his five-year tenure as President of Nabisco Foods, Conant revitalized several core businesses, including Planters nuts and LifeSavers candy. He also led several successful new product launches, including SnackWell’s, LifeSavers Creme Savers and LifeSavers Ice Breakers. From 1992-1995 at Nabisco, Conant served as President of Sales and Integrated Logistics, Senior Vice President, Marketing for The Nabisco Biscuit Company and Vice President/General Manager of the Fleischmann’s Company.
Conant began his career in 1976 in marketing at General Mills. In 1986 he moved to Kraft Foods where he was Vice President of Strategy for Kraft USA and Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for Kraft’s Grocery Products Division. A Chicago native, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. He is married with three children and lives in New Jersey.
David Johnson commented, “Doug Conant has a proven business pedigree. His record with big brands like Nabisco, Planters and LifeSavers shows great competitiveness and leadership. He is ready for the Campbell opportunity and our people are ready to respond.”
The Campbell leadership search process was led by a special committee of the Board of Directors with the assistance of SpencerStuart Associates. In addition to Lippincott, the search committee included: Kent B. Foster, chairman and chief executive officer of Ingram Micro, Inc.; Harvey Golub, chairman and CEO of American Express Company; Charles H. Mott, president and chief executive officer of John W. Bristol & Co., Inc.; Charles R. Perrin, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Avon Products, Inc.; and George Strawbridge, Jr., private investor.
“The selection of Doug Conant to lead Campbell Soup Company is the result of a rigorous and extensive search process,” Lippincott said. “Doug’s exceptional experience and record of delivering strong results met the Board’s stringent performance criteria and high expectations of leadership excellence.”
About Campbell Soup Company
Campbell Soup Company is the world’s largest maker and marketer of soup. The company’s soups are sold under the global “Campbell’s” brand as well as “Erasco” in Germany and “Liebig” in France. Among its other strong food brands are “Pepperidge Farm” cookies and crackers, “V8” and “V8 Splash” juices, “Pace” Mexican sauces, “Prego” pasta sauces, “Swanson” broths, “Homepride” sauces in the United Kingdom, “Arnott’s” biscuits in Australia and “Godiva” chocolates around the world. For more information on the company, visit Campbell’s website on the Internet at www.campbellsoup.com.
NOTE: Career Summary included below
CAMPBELL SOUP COMPANY
DOUGLAS R. CONANT
JANUARY 8, 2001
Grew sales by five percent and earnings by 15 percent running Nabisco Foods – nearly one-half of Nabisco, Inc. – over the last five years. In addition, strengthened return on management investment to industry-leading 60 percent and grew U.S. consumer takeaway over the last two years by an industry-leading 16 percent.
Achieved one of the food industry’s strongest growth profile track records in core brand revitalizations from 1995-2000 with Planters, LifeSavers, Milk-Bone, and A.1. in addition to creating the strongest organic growth profile in Canada from 1997-2000 with Nabisco Ltd.
Achieved stellar new product track record with the decade’s best launches for cookies (SnackWell’s), hard candy (LifeSavers Crème Savers) and gum (LifeSavers Ice Breakers).
Hired more than one-third of Nabisco’s top 150 managers and maintained a 90 percent retention rate. Employee satisfaction surveys consistently ranked his organizations the best within Nabisco.
Helped create the new Kraft USA organization following the merger of Kraft, Inc. and Philip Morris, Inc. Guided Kraft USA — the largest operating unit in Kraft Foods — to consecutive record-high sales, and earnings and return levels in 1988 and 1989.
Current Professional Affiliations
Applebee’s International, Inc.
Board of Directors
The New Jersey Network (NJN)
Board of Trustees
The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce
Safe America Foundation
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Master of Business Administration
J.L. Kellogg School of Management,
Sign up to get the latest company news. Delivered from our family to yours.
To manage your email preferences, click here.