Top Pork Producer Reshuffles Management in New CEO’s First Move

The world’s largest pork producer is reshuffling management ranks, creating roles and promoting a slew of senior executives in its new chief executive officer’s first big move.

Smithfield Foods Inc., owned by Hong-Kong listed WH Group, promoted six executive vice presidents to the C-suite level and created positions including chief supply chain officer, chief sales officer and chief manufacturing officer, the company said in a statement in response to Bloomberg questions. Two members of the Virginia-based company’s leadership team chose to retire.

The move comes after Dennis Organ took the top job at the end of 2020, a year in which meat processors including Smithfield came under fire after the coronavirus spread through America’s packing plants. He replaced Ken Sullivan, who carried out the integration of Smithfield’s various acquisitions and brought four years of record profits.

“This team will carry our company forward and make operational excellence our standard,” Organ said in the statement. Smithfield added that the C-suite titles were “representative of the strategic value of their respective roles.”

The seven members of the senior leadership team will report to Organ, with Russ Dokken in the leading sales role, Scott Saunders looking after supply chains and Brady Stewart being responsible for manufacturing. Joe Weber is taking the post of chief commodity hedging officer, while Shane Smith will be chief strategy officer.

Keira Lombardo has an expanded role as chief administrative officer and Glenn Nunziata remains the boss of finance. Dhamu Thamodaran, chief strategy and commodity hedging officer, and John Pauley, chief commercial officer of packaged meats, retired after decades at the company.

Smithfield invested more than $700 million in measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, which included testing facilities, air purification systems and the expansion of break and lunch rooms. The company also implemented a program to ensure employees in high-risk categories stay home with pay.

Covid-related expenses derailed what were set to be record profits last year, according to Smithfield. The company is now getting ready to administer vaccinations to its employees.

Other key management changes include:

  • Luis Cerdan was named executive vice president of European operations
  • Jamie Dik was appointed executive vice president of fresh meats
  • Steve France becomes executive vice president of packaged meats
  • John Sargent is the new executive vice president of hog production
  • Bill Michels, senior vice president of operations for packaged meats, will retire after four decades with the company

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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