Sphere of Influence: Spearheads Campbell’s corporate direction and planning processes, including expanding the maker of well-known comfort foods into new, growing segments through the identification of acquisitions, such as Bolthouse Farms
Since joining Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) in 2012, Emily Waldorf has been helping the company beloved for producing traditional comfort food, such as Chicken Noodle Soup, expand into healthy food categories through acquisitions.
She helped lead the company’s largest-ever acquisition, Bolthouse Farms, purchased from Madison Dearborn Partners for $1.5 billion in 2012. She also worked on the acquisition of Plum Organics and the sale of Campbell’s European business. Prior to Campbell, Waldorf held roles in mergers and acquisitions, corporate strategy and business development at Discovery Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T).
In 2015, Campbell completed its $231 million deal of salsa maker Garden Fresh Gourmet. In addition to organic salsa, Garden Fresh produces hummus, dips and tortilla chips. The purchase was essential for Campbell to diversify beyond soup.
The “packaged fresh” foods category is worth about $21 billion and is growing more quickly than “shelf stable food.” With the addition of Garden Fresh, Campbell was able to establish a new division around it called Campbell Fresh, which includes Bolthouse and Garden Fresh, along with Campbell’s refrigerated soup business.
“Our focus is on pursuing a dual mandate -- to strengthen our core businesses while expanding into faster-growing spaces. Our M&A activity supports that approach,” says Waldorf. “Deals have to make both strategic and economic sense for the company.