December 22, 2018 / 12:01 AM / 3 months ago

Incoming Campbell Soup CEO Clouse to be paid up to $7.4 million in 2019

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Campbell Soup Co (CPB.N) said on Friday that incoming Chief Executive Mark Clouse, a food industry veteran, could be paid as much as $7.4 million in compensation for fiscal 2019.

FILE PHOTO: The logo and ticker for Campbell Soup Co. are displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Clouse, the former chief of frozen food maker Pinnacle Foods, was named Campbell’s new CEO on Thursday after a seven-month search to replace former CEO Denise Morrison, who left abruptly in May.

Campbell said in a filing that Clouse’s pay-packet included a base salary of $1 million and a potential bonus of $1.4 million. On Jan. 22, the day he starts working at Campbell, Clouse will also get a long-term incentive award of $5 million.

At Pinnacle Foods - where Clouse’s tenure was marked by a 54 percent rise in stock value - he earned $5.22 million in 2017 and $14.1 million in 2016.

Clouse, 50, began working in the food industry over two decades ago.

His appointment comes just weeks after Campbell and activist hedge fund Third Point LLC settled a bitter proxy contest. Campbell has reported years of weak earnings, trailing the rest of the food industry.

“Campbell needs someone who can shake up the way the company is run, clean house and reinvigorate the brands,” Edward Jones analyst Brittany Weissman said on Thursday.

Under Clouse’s watch earlier this year, Pinnacle was sold to ConAgra Brands Inc (CAG.N) for $8.1 billion.

On Thursday, Conagra CEO Sean Connolly said since buying Pinnacle, he realized the business would be “significantly” less profitable than initially expected. Connolly said Pinnacle’s problems were to do with innovation at its top brands, including Birds Eye and Duncan Hines.

That “muddies Clouse’s track record a little, but he’s had a good track record for years and he’s still an ideal candidate for Campbell,” Weissman said.

Shares in Campbell fell 5.1 percent on Friday and have tumbled about 26 percent this year.

Reporting by Richa Naidu; editing by Peter Henderson and Rosalba O'Brien

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