Campbell gave new CEO $7.4 million pay package

CANDICE CHOI, AP Food Industry Writer

NEW YORK -- Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison, who is looking to revive the company's fortunes, was given a pay package worth $7.4 million for her first year on the job.

The world's biggest soup maker gave Morrison a salary $950,000, stock awards worth $5.1 million and non-equity incentive pay of $1.2 million in fiscal 2012, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday.

The balance of Morrison's pay package came from items such as contributions to retirement plans and premiums for disability benefits.

The pay package is less than the $10.2 million Campbell Soup Co. gave former CEO Douglas Conant in fiscal 2011.

Morrison, who was previously Campbell's chief operating officer and headed its North American soups, sauces and beverages operations, has vowed to stabilize Campbell's struggling soup business.

In the year ahead the Camden, N.J.-based company plans to launch dozens of new products to court younger consumers. These include soups in flavors such as Coconut Curry and Golden Lentil, in plastic pouches rather than the steel cans that have long defined the company.

Morrison faces an uphill battle, with consumption of canned soup down 13 percent over the past decade, according to Euromonitor International. Last month, the Camden, N.J.-based company said it would be closing two plants and cutting more than 700 jobs.

The problem is that fresh soup has become widely available at supermarkets and other eateries. Smaller competitors are another issue, with Campbell's share of the canned soup market down to about 53 percent, from 67 percent a decade earlier.

Campbell also makes V8 juices and Pepperidge Farm baked goods. But with the packaged food industry growing slowly in developed markets, Morrison is also positioning Campbell to move into the fast-growing market for "fresh packaged" foods with the purchase of premium juice maker Bolthouse Farms this summer.

Last month Campbell said it expected the majority of its sales growth in the year ahead to come from its recent acquisition. As for its new soups and sauces, Morrison said the company would have to wait until after the fiscal first quarter to see how they'd fare.

The Associated Press formula calculates an executive's total compensation during the last fiscal year by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest the company pays on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and stock options awarded during the year.

The AP formula does not count changes in the present value of pension benefits. That makes the AP total slightly different in most cases from the total reported by companies to the SEC.

The value that a company assigned to an executive's stock and option awards was the present value of what the company expected the awards to be worth to the executive over time. The number is just an estimate and what an executive ultimately receives will depend on the performance of the company's stock.

Most stock compensation programs require an executive to wait a specified amount of time to receive shares or exercise options.