In 2012, Emily Waldorf took charge of Campbell Soup Co.’s (NYSE: CPB) North America M&A priorities and immediately helped to orchestrate the $7.9 billion company’s largest-ever acquisition: Bolthouse Farms, purchased from Madison Dearborn Partners for $1.55 billion.
This past year, Waldorf was officially named to Campbell’s corporate leadership team and helped shape the company's strategy on another major acquisition. This time the Camden, New Jersey-based food processor purchased organic soup maker Pacific Foods of Oregon for $700 million, as part of its effort to expand its presence in the rapidly growing market for healthier nutritional alternatives.
Waldorf cut her teeth in M&A and corporate strategy in prior roles at Discovery Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). At one point she also worked for the FBI. But climbing to the upper echelons in corporate finance has been her greatest challenge.
Waldorf allows that “Finance is a very demanding field, and most roles require painstaking work with long hours. Historically, it has been a male-dominated field which has created a bit of an ‘old boys’ network when it comes to hiring, promotions and awarding the best projects. This often resulted in fewer women in the top roles,” she points out.
So what advice would she offer to her female colleagues?
“The challenge is that as women enter the field and the demands increase, and as they start families and begin to have other priorities, they opt out. They feel like there is not enough in it for them – not enough reward for the demand, not enough senior-level role models to look toward. My advice to these women is to find trusted mentors and sponsors and make sure that they are receiving valuable projects that give them visibility at the top. And at the same time, they should seek guidance on how to balance their personal and professional demands.”
Waldorf earned her undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University and received her MBA from Harvard Business School.