Brazilian food processor BRF appoints new CEO amid company struggles

BRAZIL – Brazilian food processor BRF has appointed José Aurélio Drummond Jr to the position of CEO to turn around the fortunes of the struggling company, and will take over from Pedro de Andrade Faria, who remains as CEO until 22 December.

Drummond previously served as chief executive of appliance maker Whirlpool, aluminium manufacturer Alcoa and Eneva.

During his time as chief, BRF had been implicated in an extensive food corruption scandal in which health officials were accused of taking bribes to allow unsafe meat to be exported overseas – including some that may have been rotten, or contaminated with salmonella

BRF also announced that Faria would leave the company by the end of the year, where the company thanked him for his work as CEO in a statement.

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Alexandre Almeida was appointed head of BRF in the Brazilian market, in March and according to the company; his main responsibilities would be to ‘conduct the integration processes of a new management model, and ‘prioritise on-going initiatives’.

In the short term, he has been faced with the task of repairing BRF’s reputation after exports of meat from Brazil were banned or curtailed by some of the world’s largest economies.

JBS and smaller company Grupo Peccin were also investigated by Brazilian police.

During its second-quarter financial results, BRF reported revenue higher than in the first quarter and a 13.7% increase in pre-tax earnings.

In August the company said it was to launch a discount brand in Brazil, after restrictions imposed by the country’s anti-trust authority were lifted.

As part of the merger between meat processors Perdigão and Sadia, which created BRF, Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade) ordered the company to suspend its activity in some product categories for up to five years.

Packaged and processed foods including pizzas, lasagne, meatballs and sandwich products were among those to receive the heaviest restrictions, with BRF not allowed to launch replacement brands for the entirety of the suspension.

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