For Patrick J. Callaghan, the best career advice came from his father: “Make sure you are sharing your success with others and taking responsibility for your failures yourself.”
Throughout his 30-plus years at Pepperidge Farm, Mr. Callaghan lived by those words as he rose through the ranks and eventually became president of the Norwalk, CT-based company from 2006 to 2012. During that time, Pepperidge Farm experienced one of its strongest periods of uninterrupted top-line, bottom-line and market share growth, according to Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup, parent of the baking company. “He inspired his team to deliver consistently strong business results, driven by a continuous stream of consumer-focused innovation,” she noted in a letter of recommendation for Mr. Callaghan’s induction into the 2016 Baking Hall of Fame.
Innovation has always been the muse of inspiration for Mr. Callaghan, who is widely admired within Pepperidge Farm and throughout the baking industry for his marketing prowess.
“Under his leadership, Pepperidge Farm introduced a tantalizing array of baked goods, including Milano Melts, Milano Slices, Baked Naturals Snack Crackers, Cracker Chips and Deli Flats thin rolls; extended the high-growth Goldfish brand to sweet treats and to the bread aisle; and undertook construction of a $30 million innovation center,” Ms. Morrison noted. That center was eventually named after Mr. Callaghan.
Mr. Callaghan dedicated his career to creating not only a better Pepperidge Farm but also a stronger baking industry, according to Chris Foley, senior vice-president and general manager of fresh and frozen bakery at Pepperidge Farm, in nominating him to the Baking Hall of Fame.
During the low-carb era, for example, Mr. Callaghan was integral in co-founding the Grain Foods Foundation in 2004 and later arranging for the New York Stock Exchange to recognize the foundation on the 10th anniversary of the enrichment of flour with folic acid. He was appointed an ex-officio member of the board of trustees for the foundation.
In support of the baking industry, he served as ABA chairman in 2001-02 and on the association’s board of directors for 17 years. He also served on the boards of AIB International and the Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturers’ Association.
In one of the many recommendation letters supporting his nomination, Douglas Conant, former CEO of Campbell Soup, called Mr. Callaghan “an exceptional human being.”
“His dogged determination to perform and see his company succeed has always been complemented by his innate decency and his desire to see those around him — both within his company and in the industry as a whole — reach their full potential,” Mr. Conant stated. “Bottom line, the baking industry and our company are so much better off as a result of Pat’s presence. He is a winner, and we have been quite lucky to have him on our team.”Those are words that would make any father proud.