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Irene Chang Britt has officially taken over as president of Pepperidge Farm, a division of Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Co., succeeding Pat Callaghan, who has stepped down after more than 30 years with the manufacturer. Based at Pepperidge Farm’s headquarters in Norwalk, Conn., Britt reports to Campbell President and CEO Denise Morrison.
Britt (left) is the first woman to lead Pepperidge Farm since company founder Margaret Rudkin ran the business from 1937 to 1966. Pepperidge Farm was acquired by Campbell in 1961.
As well as leading Pepperidge Farm, Britt oversees Campbell’s global baking and snacking businesses. With net sales nearing $2.3 billion per year, Campbell is the No. 3 worldwide player in the baked snacks category and also has a high-quality, premium fresh and frozen bakery business in the United States.
“Pepperidge Farm’s success has been built on smart and successful innovation and by thinking in real consumer terms,” said Britt. “Thanks to Pat’s leadership, Pepperidge Farm has become a leader in snacking, and I’m eager to hit the ground running and to help the team take the business to the next level.”
“Irene has a history of growing brands and businesses through her focus on consumer needs, marketplace trends and innovation,” noted Morrison. “I’m confident she will bring a new global perspective and insights to this business that will lead to continued growth.”
Britt became SVP and chief strategy officer in October 2010, with responsibility for Campbell’s global strategy, global marketing services, and global consumer and customer insights. Before that, Britt was president-North America Foodservice, heading the foodservice business and the retail perimeter business across the United States and Canada.
She was also VP and general manager-sauces and beverages, with responsibility for the U.S. beverage portfolio and the Prego and Pace sauces businesses. During Britt’s tenure, the sauces and beverages business experienced three straight years of top- and bottom-line growth, including steady gains of net sales, market share and profit on the company’s U.S. beverage business.
Before joining Campbell in 2005, Britt spent eight years with Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods, including positions as SVP and general manager of the salted snacks division and Post Cereal division. Before that, she spent 12 years at Dallas-based Kimberly-Clark Corp., where she held marketing positions and key assignments in sales and research and development.