Smithfield Foods has announced the retirement of its president and CEO Kenneth M. Sullivan, effective in early 2021, and the appointment of Dennis Organ as his successor.
Sullivan is said to have spent nearly half of his four-decade-long career at Smithfield. During his five-year tenure as president and CEO, he led the ‘One Smithfield’ initiative that unified all the company’s operations and brands under one corporate umbrella.
According to Smithfield, the first four years of Sullivan’s CEO-ship, prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, marked the highest-profit periods in the company’s history.
“Building on the successes of the last five years, it is the right time for me to make way for the next generation of leadership,” said Sullivan.
“I am leaving our company in extremely capable hands. Dennis lives and breathes our ‘operational excellence’ guiding principle. At his core, he tirelessly seeks out opportunities to improve the way we do business. We must be operationally excellent to succeed, and Dennis will continue to transform our company into a best-in-class operator in his role as president and chief executive officer.”
Organ, Smithfield’s chief operating officer (COO), US operations, will succeed Sullivan upon his retirement.
Having joined the company in 2010, Organ took up his current COO position last year, assuming responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the company’s domestic business, including more than 40,000 staff.
Organ added: “I am incredibly thankful and excited to have the opportunity to lead and serve Smithfield…We are tremendously fortunate to have had Ken at the helm of our company for the last five years, and particularly this past year.”
Smithfield Foods recently pledged to become carbon negative in all company-owned operations in the US by 2030.
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