Campbell Asia head Delaney to become Goodman Fielder CEO

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 2nd June 2011

The president of Campbell Soup Co.’s operations in Asia-Pacific is to join Goodman Fielder as the Australian food maker’s chief executive.Chris Delaney will take the top job at Goodman Fielder next month, replacing Peter Margin, who quit in January.

Delaney joined Campbell in 2004 as vice president of sales. He became president of the soup maker’s operations in emerging markets in 2006. In October 2009, Delaney became president of Campbell’s Asia-Pacific unit.

Goodman Fielder said today (1 June) that Delaney, who has also worked for Procter & Gamble, had “extensive international FMCG experience”. The company pointed to Delaney’s most recent role in charge of Campbell’s “fastest-growing region” that, it said, generated sales of A$1bn (US$1.07bn) in markets including Australia and New Zealand.

“He has a track record for innovation in a dynamic market and has helped build some of Australia’s most iconic brands. He will also bring on board a new strategy for driving efficiencies and growth across our businesses,” Goodman Fielder chairman Max Ould said.

“The Australasian food industry is currently going through a time of significant change and the board believes that Chris has the professional capability, experience and leadership skills to lead the company into a new era.”

In April, Goodman Fielder issued a profit warning after a “soft” fiscal third quarter. The company pointed to an increase in commodity costs, the impact of the floods in Australia earlier this year and fierce competition between Australia’s two largest retailers, Woolworths Ltd and Coles.

Delaney said there was “significant potential” for “Goodman Fielder and its brands in local and regional markets”.

He added: “Several critical areas I will be looking at closely are the development of regional trade prospects, innovation streams and the company’s relationships in supply chain management.”

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