BRAZIL – Marfrig Global Foods, the second largest Brazilian food processing company, has announced Eduardo Miron as its new chief executive officer, replacing Martín Secco, who has led the company since 2015.

According to the company, Miron joined Marfrig in 2010 and, since 2016, has been the chief financial and investor relations officer while also serving as the chief financial officer of Keystone Foods in the United States.

Before joining Marfrig, he worked for ten years at Grupo Safra and for more than two decades at U.S.-based Cargill, where he held leadership positions in Brazil and the United States. Miron, 55, holds a degree in accounting, a graduate degree in finance and an MBA from Business School São Paulo/University of Toronto.

“The choice of Eduardo Miron as CEO underlines our commitment to a financially and operationally sustainable Marfrig.

Miron was at the forefront of the company’s most recent strategic operations:  the acquisition of controlling interest in National Beef and the divestment of Keystone.

These transactions have transformed Marfrig into a simpler company focused on beef and supported by a global production and distribution platform.

Also, Marfrig is now a company with low financial leverage,” said Marcos Molina dos Santos, the controlling shareholder and chairman of the board.

In recent years, Marfrig implemented the strategies outlined in its Focus to Win plan, one of the main goals of which was to reduce its financial leverage, as measured by the ratio of Net Debt to Adjusted EBITDA to 2.5 by the end of 2018. Under the leadership of Martín Secco, several targets of the plan were achieved.

The acquisition of controlling interest in the U.S.-based National Beef in April this year and the recent sale of Keystone Foods were fundamental in achieving this goal.

Marfrig will redouble its efforts to create value supported by financial sustainability, by the integration of and capture of synergies at National Beef and, in South America, by a management strategy centered on operational excellence, on adding value to its products and brands and on revamping its structure.

“We will strive to create value in all dimensions of the business,” said Miron.

“We want to be recognized as a sustainable company for our financial management, for the returns we offer shareholders and investors and for our relations with cattle producers, employees, clients and consumers.”

Marfrig will comprise two operations: South America, which is responsible for the operations in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile; and North America, which consists of the operations of National Beef and the beef patty plant in North Baltimore.

Miguel Gularte has been chosen to lead the South America operation. The 59-year-old Gularte has a degree in veterinary medicine and a career spanning more than 37 years in the beef sector.

He began his career at the Meat and Meat Products Industrial Cooperative (Cicade) and later served as CEO of the Uruguayan meatpacker PUL, as international vice-president of Minerva and as CEO of JBS Mercosul.  At Marfrig, he will be responsible for the 31 units in operation in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile.

The North America operation will continue to be led by Tim Klein, CEO of National Beef.

Klein, 61, has been with National Beef, the fourth largest beef processor in the United States, since 1997.

He was the company’s chief operating officer (COO) until being named CEO in July 2009.

In the corporate area of Marfrig, Marco Spada will take charge as the chief financial and investor relations officer and Fabio Vasconcellos will be the chief planning and management officer.

Spada, 43, holds an engineering degree from the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo and a graduate degree in business administration from the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV).

After beginning his career at the Brazilian subsidiary of Cargill, he joined Marfrig nine years ago, where he has held various offices, including as financial manager at Keystone in Hong Kong and as treasury director of Marfrig since 2013.

Fabio Vasconcellos, who joined Marfrig nine years ago, had served in various management positions in the financial area and, since 2016, has been based in the United States, where he served as financial head of Keystone and global controller of Marfrig.

Vasconcellos built a career at multinational companies such as E&Y and Cargill.

The 38-year-old Vasconcellos holds a degree in business administration from the Santa Catarina State University and an MBA in finance and controllership from INPG.