US soup and snacks company Campbell Soup ended its nine-month search for a chief executive on Monday. Douglas Conant of Nabisco was named as the new chief executive, the Financial Times reported. Mr Conant, 49, was most recently president of the snacks and condiments division of Nabisco, which Philip Morris bought for $14.9bn last year. Under Mr Conant's tenure, the division's sales grew by 5 per cent a year and earnings rose 15 per cent annually for the last five years. Analysts greeted the appointment as an indication that the Dorrance family, which controls Campbell, had decided to pursue an independent path rather than follow the trend of mergers in the industry.