Former Wal-Mart Stores executive Ray Ligouri has joined Campbell Soup Co. to lead the US food group's M&A strategy.

Ligouri, who has spent 23 years at Wal-Mart, has been appointed as Campbell's vice president for corporate development, the company said today (19 April).

The 53-year-old will lead the soup maker's efforts in "mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances and joint ventures".

He will report to Campbell CFO and chief adminstrative officer Craig Owens, who said: "Ray is a seasoned M&A executive, with a history of leading international transactions. He has a broad range of experience across industries and geographies and will provide strong guidance for our corporate development team."

In August, Campbell will see a change at the top of the business when COO Denise Morrison formally replaces Doug Conant as president and CEO.

Morrison, who became Campbell's COO in September in preparation for the top job, has already shaken up the company's management team, with a series of appointments.