Saturday October 6, 2012

NEW YORK -- Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison, who is looking to revive the company’s fortunes, was given a pay package worth $7.4 million for her first year on the job.

The world’s biggest soup maker gave Morrison a salary $950,000, stock awards worth $5.1 million and non-equity incentive pay of $1.2 million in fiscal 2012, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday.

The balance of Morrison’s pay package came from items such as contributions to retirement plans and premiums for disability benefits.

The pay package is less than the $10.2 million Campbell Soup Co. gave former CEO Douglas Conant in fiscal 2011.

Morrison, who was previously Campbell’s chief operating officer and headed its North American soups, sauces and beverages operations, has vowed to stabilize Campbell’s struggling soup business.

In the year ahead the Camden, N.J.-based company plans to launch dozens of new products to court younger consumers. These include soups in flavors such as Coconut Curry and Golden Lentil, in plastic pouches rather than the steel cans that have long defined the company.

Morrison faces an uphill battle, with consumption of canned soup down 13 percent over the past decade, according to Euromonitor Inter national. Last month, the company said it would be closing two plants and cutting more than 700 jobs.


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The problem is that fresh soup has become widely available at supermarkets and other eateries. Smaller competitors are another issue, with Campbell’s share of the canned soup market down to about 53 percent, from 67 percent a decade earlier.

Campbell also makes V8 juices and Pepperidge Farm baked goods. But with the packaged food industry growing slowly in developed markets, Morrison is also positioning Campbell to move into the fast-growing market for "fresh packaged" foods with the purchase of premium juice maker Bolthouse Farms.