On Friday, Campbell Soup Co. announced the abrupt resignation of CEO Denise Morrison, who is retiring after seven years heading the Camden-based food company.
Morrison's suddent departure took the business world by surprise. Shares of Campbell's stock plunged 12 percent following the announcement and Wall Street Journal deputy business editor Anupreeta Das described the retirement as feeling "like Campbell just stuck a big For Sale sign on its door."
Here are key things to know about Morrison and her abrupt departure.
Morrison was among the most prominent female CEOs in the country. Her departure drops the number of women who are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies down to 23.
Morrison's departure comes after a number of high-profile women have stepped down from leadership roles at major companies over the past year, including former Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman, former Mondelez International CEO Irene Rosenfeld and former Avon CEO Sheri McCoy. Margo Georgiadis left Mattel Inc. after a year in the top job, but has since been hired as the new CEO of Ancestry.
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Morrison was among the CEOs to walk away from President Trump's American Manufacturing Council in August 2017 over his remarks about racial protests in Charlottesville, Va., though her announcement came a day later than her peers and just an hour before the council was officially disbanded.
"Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the president should have been — and still needs to be — unambiguous on that point," Morrison said at the time.
Morrison isn't the only member of her own family to lead a large company. Her sister, Maggie Wilderotter, was the CEO of Frontier Communications from November 2004 to April 2015. Wilderotter also served as the company's executive chairman until April 2016. Prior to that, Wilderotter was a senior vice president at Microsoft.
Morrison's replacement, at least on an interim basis, will be Keith R. McLoughlin, who has been a member of the company's board of directors since 2016. From 2001 through 2016, McLoughlin was the president and CEO of Electrolux AB, a global manufacturer of major household appliances. Prior to that, he served as vice president and general manager of DuPont Nonwovens for DuPont.