Irene Chang Britt, Campbell Soup Co.'s top global marketing executive, will soon leave the job to head the company's Pepperidge Farm division, the company announced Tuesday.
Ms. Britt will take the reins as president Aug. 1, replacing Pat Callaghan, who is retiring after more than 30 years with the company.
As senior VP-chief strategy officer since October 2010, Ms. Britt has overseen Campbell's global strategy and marketing services, including advertising and design and consumer insights. Asked about a potential replacement, a Campbell spokesman told Ad Age that "we plan to evaluate our options for the chief strategy officer position and we are not naming a successor at this time."
The changes come as Campbell seeks to revive its U.S. soup business, whose sales declined 2% last quarter. Plans include packaging and flavor innovations aimed at younger consumers. Examples include microwavable pouches called Campbell's Go! Soup.
Pepperidge Farm has fared better than soup lately and reported that sales rose "slightly" last quarter. Strong growth for the Goldfish snack cracker brand was offset by declines in cookies, the company reported in its second-quarter earnings statement.
Mr. Callaghan, 61, will continue to lead Pepperidge Farm until the end of Campbell's fiscal year, July 31. He joined the company in 1979 and was promoted to Pepperidge president in 2006. Under his leadership, the division has launched innovations such as Milano Melts and Baked Naturals Snack Crackers, while extending the Goldfish brand into sweet treats and the bread aisle. Ad Age last year named Goldfish as one of America's Hottest Brands.
"Under Pat's leadership, Pepperidge Farm has developed a culture of consumer-focused innovation, strengthened its brands and delivered consistently strong business results with seven consecutive years of top-line, bottom-line and market share growth," Campbell CEO Denise Morrison said in a statement. "As we work to accelerate Campbell's rate of innovation, Pepperidge Farm can serve as a model."
After he steps down, Mr. Callaghan will serve as special adviser to the CEO until Nov. 1, 2012, when he will retire from Campbell.
The agency for Pepperidge Farm brands is WPP's Y&R, New York. Campbell's soup advertising is handled by Y&R, New York, and Omnicom Group's BBDO, New York.
Ms. Britt, 49, joined Campbell in 2005 after an eight-year career with Kraft Foods. She was named chief strategy officer in 2010, after serving as president-North America foodservice. "Irene's relentless focus on the consumer, track record of successful innovation and delivery of business results make her an ideal candidate to succeed Pat," Ms. Morrison said.