Campbell Soup CEO Conant to Step Down

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Campbell Soup Company (CPB) CEO Douglas Conant will step down on July 31, 2011 after more than a decade in the post.

Denise Morrison, currently the president of the company's North American soup, sauces and beverage unit, is expected to succeed Conant, Reuters reported. Morrison has been appointed chief operating officer, effective October 1.

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Morrison, 56, was not a surprise choice, Jack Russo, an analyst at Edward Jones, told Reuters.

"If you look at her track record, she has had a ton of experience in the industry," Russo said, highlighting her experience at Kraft Foods Inc, PepsiCo Inc and Procter & Gamble Co.

Morrison has helped boost the sale of Campbell's products such as V8 vegetable juice. Still, the company's soup business has struggled to compete with frozen foods and other ready meal options.

"There was some frustration with the economy slowing and people getting more thrifty and eating at home that the category didn't do better," Russo said.

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