Business

Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison abruptly steps down

Posted May 18, 2018 7:45 a.m. EDT

Denise Morrison, the CEO of Campbell Soup since 2011, abruptly announced her retirement Friday, effective immediately.

— Denise Morrison, the CEO of Campbell Soup since 2011, abruptly announced her retirement Friday, effective immediately.

Morrison's departure leaves only 23 women as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

Campbell Soup board member Keith McLoughlin, the former head of appliance maker Electrolux AB, was named interim CEO. The company did not say why Morrison is leaving.

In the past year, a number of other high-profile women have stepped down as business leaders, including Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Irene Rosenfeld of Mondelez and Sheri McCoy of Avon.

Among the women still leading large American companies are Mary Barra at GM, Marillyn Hewson at Lockheed Martin, Ginni Rometty at IBM and Indra Nooyi at Pepsi.

Morrison's sister, Maggie Wilderotter, used to be a CEO as well. She ran the telecom company Frontier Communications from 2004 to 2015, when she retired.

Shares of Campbell Soup fell nearly 5% in early trading Friday on the news of Morrison's retirement, which was announced in conjunction with the company's latest financial results.

Campbell recently completed the acquisition of snack maker Snyder's-Lance for more than $6 billion, and it reported earnings Friday that topped forecasts. But it lowered its outlook for the year.