US – Smithfield Foods, Inc., an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach, has appointed Shane Smith to succeed Dennis Organ as president and chief executive officer.
Smith, a two-decade veteran of the company and, most recently, its chief strategy officer, will take over the role immediately, according to a statement from the company.
Prior to becoming chief strategy officer, Mr. Smith served as executive vice president of Smithfield’s European operations where he oversaw the company’s operations, capital investments, expansion into new markets, and mergers and acquisitions abroad.
Today, Smithfield’s European operations encompass nearly 18,000 employees, 21 processing facilities, 58 company-owned farms, and over 1,000 contract farms in five countries.
His impressive work in Europe makes him an ideal candidate for the top job at Smithfield where he is expected to aid the company in further establishing more robust and strategic global collaboration to franchise best practices across the company’s expansive footprint.
“I am honored to serve as Smithfield’s next President and CEO and lead an incredible team of more than 63,000 people who all work together to provide families worldwide with wholesome, safe, and affordable food,” said Smith.
“Together with our talented leadership team, I look forward to furthering our long-term vision that has made us one of the world’s leading consumer-packaged protein companies, creating value for a broad range of stakeholders,” he added.
Mr. Smith graduated from Mount Olive College in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting and has a Master of Business Administration from the College of William & Mary.
He was hired as a financial analyst by Smithfield in 2003 and was promoted to director of financial reporting in 2008 and then to international controller for Smithfield’s international business in 2010.
This is when he went to Europe where he was appointed to a number of roles culminating in his appointment as executive vice president of European operations.
In late 2020, Mr. Smith was promoted to his prior role, chief strategy officer, where he helped develop, execute and sustain the company’s efforts to achieve growth through its own resources, as well as through mergers and acquisitions.
He oversaw the company’s hog farming operations, as well as Smithfield Renewables, the platform that unifies Smithfield’s carbon reduction initiatives.
Under his leadership, the company has recently committed to becoming carbon negative in all U.S. company-owned operations by 2030.
Smithfield states it will reduce GHG emissions across its entire domestic supply chain by 30 percent by 2030, and it will be Smith’s task to see this ambitious goal achieved.
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