Campbell Soup board chairman retires, former CEO McLoughlin takes over

Campbell Soup Co.‘s chairman of the board Les C. Vinney has retired, the Camden-based company announced Thursday, with Keith R. McLoughin taking over the post, effective immediately.

Vinney said his retirement was due to personal reasons, but will remain a director until April 15.

“It has been an honor to serve as a director and as chairman of the Campbell Soup Company. The board is fortunate to have a strong and capable leader in Keith, whose steady direction has been indispensable over the last year. He has been an advisor and asset to me, our fellow board members, Campbell’s leadership team and our employees. His role as interim president and CEO of Campbell make him uniquely qualified and the logical choice to take on the role of chairman at this important time in Campbell’s history,” Vinney said.

McLoughlin served as interim CEO and president at Campbell following the retirement of Denise Morrison in May 2018 until Mark Clouse was named to the role in December 2018. McLoughlin has been a director at Campbell since 2015. Before joining the board, he was CEO and president of AB Electrolux and spent more than 20 years in senior leadership roles at E. I. duPont de Nemours and Co.

“I am honored to serve as chairman of a company with iconic brands and many talented employees whom I have come to know well in the last year. During my time as interim president and CEO, I gained a deeper knowledge of the company’s operations, and in working closely with leadership, believe we have made significant progress in focusing the company. I look forward to continuing to work with Mark, the Campbell leadership team and my fellow directors as we continue to transform Campbell and create shareholder value,” McLoughlin said.

Vinney joined the board in 2003 and served as chairman since 2015. Prior to that, he was CEO and president of STERIS Corp. Before that, he was senior vice president and chief financial officer at Goodrich Corp.

“Les has made many important contributions during his 16 years on the Campbell board and provided critical leadership during a pivotal period in our company’s history. On behalf of the entire Campbell board of directors, we thank Les for his service and wish him well in retirement,” McLoughlin said.

Campbell said it had also appointed J.P. Bilbrey, former CEO of The Hershey Co., to the board. Also, Sara Mathew, member of the board, has retired. Bilbrey’s appointment was part of its agreement with Third Point in November 2018, stipulating that Campbell consult with Third Point on the appointment of a third director by its May 2019 board meeting.

“We are thrilled to welcome J.P. and his 40 years of experience in the food industry to Campbell’s board as part of our ongoing director refreshment process. His extensive knowledge of the changing consumer landscape and the North American market will be a tremendous asset to our board,” McLoughlin said.

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