Douglas Conant

Douglas Conant

  • Power 50 Ranking: 36
  • Title: President and CEO
  • Company: Campbell Soup Co. [3]
  • Key Developments: Introduction of V8 and Campbell’s Select Harvest ready-to-serve soups and 60% increase in use of Campbell’s Kitchen website over 2008.
  • What's Next: Continued innovation with low-sodium line and continued focus on core strategies with simple meals, baked snacks and healthy beverage lines.
Douglas Conant - Power 50 Profile

Campbell Soup Co. has had a strong year from both a marketplace and a workplace perspective.

Notably, the Camden, N.J. company enjoyed a very successful launch of its Campell’s Select Harvest ready-to-serve soups, and the company received a 2009 Great Workplace Award from Gallup. In addition, the National Business Group on Health honored Campbell as one of the nation’s leading corporations for innovative programs promoting a healthy workplace.

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“We had the best U.S. soup season in recent memory, with top-line growth in our ready-to-serve and condensed soup businesses as well as our broth business,” said Douglas Conant, president and chief executive officer of Campbell.

V8 ready-to-serve soups were restaged this past soup season from Select Gold Label to V8, and saw improved performance. And the launch of Select Harvest soups represented an important milestone in Campbell’s sodium-reduction journey, which began a number of years ago.

With some soups costing as little as 50 cents per serving, and programs such as the company’s “Meals Under $10” and “Campbell’s Real Value,” Conant says that Campbell is well-positioned as a “problem solver” for consumers watching their budgets during the recession. From September 2008 to May 2009, more than 12 million people visited the Campbell’s Kitchen website looking for quick and easy value recipes.

“This activity represented an increase of 60% over the same period last year, reinforcing the idea that consumers have a heightened need for quick and easy affordable meal solutions,” he explained.

Since many retailers have reduced their inventory levels, Campbell has made changes within its supply chain to ensure that retailers have what they need when they need them, Conant said.

“We have identified efficiencies in our warehousing and transportation operations and we have improved our customer service operations, with improvements in several key metrics,” he said. “We believe we have strengthened our operations and are prepared to manage the situation moving forward.”

— Amy Sung