Turkey processing giant Butterball, LLC, Garner, N.C., said Keith Shoemaker resigned as president and CEO, effective April 25, 2011. Officials did not disclose a reason.
 
“Butterball thanks Mr. Shoemaker for his valuable service and for successfully guiding the company through last year’s change in ownership as well as his role in making the company what it is today,” said Walter Pelletier, president of Maxwell Farms, LLC and board member of Butterball.
 
Until a permanent successor is named, current members of the Butterball, LLC board will assume CEO responsibilities. Maxwell Farms and Seaboard Corp., Merriam, Kan., are joint, 50-50 owners in the company.
 
“Butterball is a strong growing company with a bright future,” said  Steven Bresky, Seaboard president and CEO. “During this transition we do not anticipate major changes in any areas of production or employment.  It is business as usual.”
 
Butterball, LLC is the largest producer of turkey products in the United States and produces one billion pounds of turkey each year from seven U.S. plants.

The Triangle Business Journal, Raleigh/Durham, N.C., reported that Shoemaker served as president and CEO of Butterball since 2006, when its predecessor company, Carolina Turkeys of Mt. Olive, acquired the Butterball brand from ConAgra. He previously was president of Carolina Turkeys.