Reports in the US media suggest food giant Campbell Soup Co. is set to name former Pinnacle Foods boss Mark Clouse as its new CEO.

Speculation has linked Clouse with the job for several weeks but now the New York Post newspaper, quoting sources, said he could be announced in the role as soon as this week or at least by year’s end.

Campbell has been without a permanent CEO since May when Denise Morrison stepped down after the company announced huge third quarter losses.

Since then it has carried out a review of the business which led to it taking the decision to quit the international and chilled foods arenas and been involved in a bitter battle for control with activist investor and minority shareholder Third Point which led to Campbell adding two Third Point picks to its board at it annual meeting at the end of November.

It was suggested those new board members would be involved in the decision to appoint a new CEO.

According to the New York Post story Third Point owner Daniel Loeb has met Clouse to assure him of a lack of interference if he takes the reins.

However, the newspaper said that while Clouse is the hot favourite for the CEO position, its source suggested there is at least one other candidate in the running.

Clouse was CEO of Pinnacle until it was acquired by peer Conagra Brands earlier this year.

When contacted by the newspaper, Campbell said: “We don’t comment on rumour or speculation.”