- Campbell Soup Co. has named Chobani CFO Mick Beekhuizen as its new CFO, effective next month. Beekhuizen will replace Anthony DiSilvestro, who is leaving the company.
- Prior to Chobani, Beekhuizen served as CFO at Education Management Corp. and as a managing director in Goldman Sachs' merchant banking division. "Mick's background and experience in leading publicly traded and private food companies will serve Campbell well as we set the company on a course to deliver sustainable, profitable growth and create shareholder value," Campbell CEO Mark Clouse said in the announcement.
- Campbell hired Clouse as CEO in December, and it's a common practice for new CEOs to assemble their own team, Erin Lash, director of consumer equity research at Morningstar Research, told CFO Dive. "We've seen this exact practice at Kellogg, General Mills and even earlier this week at Kraft Heinz," she said.
In leading Campbell Soup's finance function, Beekhuizen will oversee "tax, treasury, audit, investor relations, external development, corporate financial planning and analysis, and financial systems, as well as the company's information technology group," the company said in a statement.
Campbell Soup's hiring of Beekhuizen is consistent with a recent trend of shuffling the C-suite as companies try to steady themselves after years of lackluster performance. For the New Jersey-based Campbell Soup, it has focused more on snacks and its core soups while divesting its international and fresh operations.
Campbell Soup officially announced the sale of Arnott’s and other parts of its international business to KKR for $2.2 billion this month. Campbell Soup earlier sold its Danish baked snacks manufacturer Kelsen Group for $300 million to CTH Invest, a Belgian holding company affiliated with Ferrero.
In addition, the company sold its Garden Fresh Gourmet brand to an affiliate of Fountain of Health USA, a maker of hummus, dips, prepared salads, pates and frozen desserts. The company also divested its Bolthouse Farms business to an affiliate of Butterfly Equity for $510 million.
Campbell Soup is seeing some progress in turning around its business. The maker of Goldfish, Pepperidge Farm and Pop Secret posted a 2% increase in sales during its latest quarter as it benefited from cost cutting and increased snack and soup sales.
Food and beverage industry leaders are focusing on "extracting cost and driving profitability, particularly following the Kraft Heinz merger," Morningstar's Lash said. But C-suite turnover has been a challenge.
"I can't think of any firm across consumer products that hasn't had a CEO or CFO change in the last two to three years," Lash said.