Campbell names Conant president, CEO

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Campbell Soup Co. announced Jan. 8 it appointed Douglas R. Conant president and CEO. Mr. Conant, 49, most recently served as president of Nabisco Foods Co. He succeeds David W. Johnson, 68, who left the president-CEO position in 1997 but returned last March in an interim role after Campbell ousted Dale Morrison due to continuing sales disappointments.

For the four-week period ending Dec. 3, Campbell's soup volumes were up 8.5 percent vs. a 10.1 percent improvement for the overall category and a 28 percent rise for the Progresso brand, according to Credit Suisse First Boston analyst David Nelson.

Despite Mr. Conant's strong track record, which includes leading Nabisco in five consecutive years of double-digit earnings growth and revitalizing Planters nuts and LifeSavers candy, Mr. Nelson said that the new CEO may need to "prescribe more pain than gain to near-term projections."

Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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