Denise Morrison

“I think leadership is service and there is power in that giving: to help people, to inspire and motivate them to reach their fullest potential.” ~Denise Morrison

Denise Morrison, President and CEO of Campbell Soup. Image: Campbell

Denise Morrison, President and CEO of Campbell Soup.
Image: Campbell

The Front End of Innovation conference was an appropriate place to see Campbell Soup Company President and CEO Denise Morrison this year.  Since becoming CEO in 2011, Morrison has taken on new demographics, priorities and corporate social responsibilities with innovation as the driving force.  This includes bringing on a Vice President for Innovation, and a special “innovation center” for the company’s Pepperidge Farm brand.  Morrison says most of their brands have similar centers now, where teams can test, create and run pilot programs for new products.  Innovation, either entirely new products or improvements to existing product lines, account for something between ten and twenty percent of company sales.

Denise Morrison has the experience to know how innovation and strong leadership can affect a brand.  She has experience working with a handful of powerful household names, holding marketing and executive positions at Kraft, Nestle, Nabisco and Pepsi before settling at Campbell’s in 2003.  One of her company mottos is “fail fast, fail often, fail cheap”, setting a precedent for encouraging as many new ideas for as little cost as possible.  While the older generation is Campbell’s largest customer demographic, Morrison has also launched product lines for people in their twenties and thirties, beginning with the Campbell’s Go line, launched entirely through social media outlets.  After learning that most homes in America now have a slow cooker, the company began working on a line of sauces designed especially for the popular appliance.

Corporate Social Responsibility has also become a priority for the company in the two years with Morrison at the helm.  Campbell reports aggressive energy reduction goals, stating its plan to reduce energy consumption by 35 percent by 2020.  There are also incentives to promote sustainable culture within the organization through employee volunteer hours, professional development programs for managers and health and wellness programs.  The company also joined a voluntary initiative to put nutrition facts on the front of the packaging to improve transparency and help consumers make healthier choices.

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