US poultry company Pilgrim’s Pride has announced that its president and CEO Jayson Penn has begun a paid leave of absence to focus on legal matters.
The news comes shortly after senior executives from Pilgrim’s Pride and Claxton Poultry, including Penn, were indicted over alleged US chicken price-fixing.
Penn will use the time to focus on his defense, having been charged with conspiring to fix prices and rig bids on chicken sold in the US.
The CEO was indicted along with three other current and former executives, according to the US Justice Department.
Meanwhile, the company’s board of directors has appointed chief financial officer Fabio Sandrias as the interim president and CEO.
Gilberto Tomazoni, chairman of Pilgrim’s board of directors said: “Pilgrim’s operates with the highest standards of integrity and is committed to free and open competition that benefits both customers and consumers.
“The board takes the recent allegations very seriously and believes it is in the best interests of both Jayson and the company that he is given the opportunity to focus on his legal defense during this time.”
He continued: “Jayson has built a strong leadership team at Pilgrim’s. The board has complete confidence in the ability of Fabio and the team to continue to implement Pilgrim’s strategy and successfully run day-to-day operations”.
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