Denise M. Morrison, president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company, accepted the Legend in Leadership Award of the Yale School of Management’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute on March 15 at a ceremony at the Yale CEO Caucus in Washington, D.C.
The award was presented to Morrison by Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of the Goldman Sachs Group.
Caucus organizer Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies at the Yale School of Management, commented:
“Over the past five years, Denise has provided an especially inspiring model of courageous entrepreneurial leadership, enterprise transformation, and corporate citizenship. She has skillfully balanced superb external acquisitions and internal investments to lead a transformation in product quality, nutrition, and improved financial returns, with investors valuing the enterprise at 20 times earnings. She has revitalized iconic brands such as Pepperidge Farm, V8, Prego, and Campbell’s iconic soups while bringing in terrific new enterprises such as Bolthouse Farms, Plum Organics, and Garden Fresh Gourmet. A member of the Presidents’ Export Council, Denise has earned enthusiastic recognition and accolades from her industry peers.”
Morrison became Campbell’s chief executive officer in August 2011.
Under Morrison’s leadership, Campbell’s has made a strategic realignment as a purpose-driven organization, with the words “Real food that matters for life’s moments” as a key motivator. In keeping with this realignment, Morrison has shifted the company away from the “Big Food” label and embraced the company’s unique market positioning, focusing on more natural ingredients, and more transparency about current ingredients. By the end of fiscal year 2018, Campbell will remove artificial colors and flavors from most of its North American products and will continue its trend away from high-fructose corn syrup. The company has also supported mandatory national GMO labeling.
The Legend in Leadership Award was created 25 years ago to honor current and former CEOs who serve as living legends to inspire chief executives across industries, sectors, and nations. Past recipients include Kenneth Frazier of Merck, Ian Cook of Colgate-Palmolive, Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Klaus Kleinfeld of Alcoa, Gao Xiqing of China Investment Corporation, D. Scott Davis of UPS, Fu Chengyu of Sinopec, Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, Jeffrey Immelt of GE, Jeff Bewkes of Time Warner, Frank Blake of Home Depot, Dave Cote of Honeywell, Ellen Kullman of DuPont, Alan Mulally of Ford, Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemical Company, Duncan Niederauer of the NYSE, Ken Chenault of American Express, David Stern of the NBA, Ratan Tata of the TATA Group, Mike Ullman of JCPenney, Infosys founder Nandan Nilekani, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Robert Iger of Walt Disney, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone, Roger Enrico of PepsiCo, John Pepper of Procter & Gamble, Don Keough of Coca-Cola, McKinsey founder Marvin Bower, Jim Kelly of UPS, Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, Ivan Seidenberg of Verizon, Richard Teerlink of Harley-Davidson, Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson, financier Wilbur Ross, and Lou Gerstner of IBM.
The caucus theme was “Effective Problem Solving amid Election Politics: Substantive Solutions vs. Simplistic Slapdowns.” Distinguished global corporate leaders from across industries engaged in lively, candid discussions at this invitation-only leaders' conference hosted by the Yale School of Management.
Additional CEO Caucus participants included Speaker Paul Ryan; Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores; Jason Furman, 28th chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors; Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the president; Senator Angus King; Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company; Gerardo Lopez, president and CEO of Extended Stay America Hotels; Greg Hayes, president and CEO of United Technologies; Terry Lundgren, chairman and CEO of Macy’s Inc.; Lowell McAdam, chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications; Mike Petters, president and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries; Mike Ullman, executive chairman of JCPenney; Mark Weinberger, global chairman and CEO of EY; and Bob Woodward of the Washington Post.
Conference partners included CNBC, Edelman, EY, Korn Ferry, Lincoln Motor Company, and UPS.
The Chief Executive Leadership Institute was founded in 1989 to provide original research on top leadership and lively, current educational forums through peer-driven learning for accomplished leaders across a range of sectors. For more information, visit celi.som.yale.edu.