ConAgra CMO Joan Chow Leaves After Lengthy Stint

New CEO Sean Connolly Is Making Strategic Changes

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Joan Chow
Joan Chow

Joan Chow, the longtime chief marketing officer for ConAgra Foods, has left the company as it makes changes under a new CEO.

A ConAgra spokeswoman confirmed Ms. Chow's departure but said the company has not yet announced a replacement. "We thank her for her years of service and contributions as CMO," the spokeswoman said in an email. "Our CEO, Sean Connolly, is currently defining our company strategy including building the executive team."

Ms. Chow joined ConAgra in 2007 after a stint at Sears, Roebuck & Co. She previously worked for Information Resources Inc. as well as Johnson & Johnson.

ConAgra -- whose brands include Marie Callender's, Healthy Choice, Slim Jim and Orville Redenbacher's -- is shifting its strategic course under Mr. Connolly. He took over in March after serving as CEO of Hillshire Brands, which was acquired by Tyson Foods last year.

Mr. Connolly's plans include investing more in marketing for some brands as ConAgra divests its struggling private-label business.

ConAgra spent $103 million on measured media last year in the U.S, down from $176 million in 2013, according to Kantar Media. ConAgra's creative agencies include DDB San Francisco.

In a separate move, ConAgra has hired Jon Harris as chief communications officer, the spokeswoman confirmed. Mr. Harris had previously worked under Mr. Connolly at Hillshire. More recently he was the announcer for the "The Meredith Vieira Show." His stint on the show ended several months ago.

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