Smithfield Foods, Inc., Smithfield, Va., announced a realignment of its organization and key senior management appointments that unify all of its independent operating companies, brands, marketing and more than 48,000 employees around the world under one corporate umbrella to further its "Good food. Responsibly." mission. Smithfield's business operations will now be managed as four divisions—packaged meats, fresh pork, hog production and international.
"We are thrilled to launch this new structure that better supports our people, brands and customers while positioning Smithfield to take advantage of opportunities for growth," says C. Larry Pope, president and CEO. "The steps we are taking today build on our strong momentum and successes, as we continue to solidify Smithfield's position as a global leader in branded packaged meats. Moving to a centralized structure and bringing our resources and brands together into these four operating divisions enables us to best utilize management talent across the company and maintain our commitment to serving our customers as we always have while more effectively providing our full array of products. Further, we are excited about the potential to leverage marketing programs and sponsorships, such as our involvement in NASCAR, across all of our brands."
"Importantly, our organizational realignment is about growth and harmonization,” Pope adds. “In 2013, we promised that under new ownership, the company would be 'The same old Smithfield, but better.' We have delivered on that promise, and once again we commit to growing and evolving the company without closing any plants or offices or reducing our workforce. We look forward to maintaining our strong presence in Smithfield, Va.; Kansas City, Mo.; Lisle, Ill.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and the many other communities in which our company operates."
Following the realignment, the packaged meats division will include all of the company's packaged meats business previously operated under Smithfield Farmland and John Morrell Food Group within a single, cohesive division. The company's fresh pork division will encompass the former Smithfield Farmland fresh pork operations, and the company's hog production, and international businesses will retain their existing structure and leadership while operating under the new divisional structure.
In connection with the new divisional operating structure and related consolidation of certain business functions, Smithfield also announced several key senior management appointments, effective March 1:
Kenneth Sullivan will assume the role of executive vice president in addition to his current role as Smithfield's chief financial officer, overseeing consolidated finance, administrative and support services. Sullivan was named chief financial officer in 2013, after having served as vice president of finance from 2010-2013, chief accounting officer from 2007-2013 and vice president of internal audit from 2003-2007. Prior to joining Smithfield, Sullivan spent 12 years at large public accounting and consulting firms serving a variety of clients in the manufacturing, technology and government contracting sectors.
Joseph Sebring was appointed president, packaged meats division, bringing more than 36 years of meat industry experience. He most recently served as president of Smithfield's John Morrell Food Group, which he joined in May 1994. From 1992-1994, he served as president and CEO of Indiana Packers, and from 1974-1992, he served as executive vice president for Fresh Mark Meat Products, Inc.
Scott Saunders was promoted to president, fresh pork division. Saunders, who maintains nearly 30 years of experience in the food industry, was previously chief financial officer of Smithfield's John Morrell Food Group. From 1992-2002, he served in roles spanning cost manager to chief financial officer at Indiana Packers Corp. Saunders began his career at Hormel Foods Corp. in 1986.
Gregg Schmidt will continue to lead Murphy-Brown LLC, the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, as president, hog production division. Schmidt assumed leadership of all of its North American swine production operations in 2013, after having served as president of Murphy-Brown East Production Operations from 2011-2013 and president of the international division from 2002-2011. Prior to the merger with Murphy-Brown, Schmidt served as vice president of production for Carroll's Foods from 1991-2001 and as nutritionist for Carroll's Foods' Swine and Turkey Departments from 1986-1991. Schmidt began his than 30-plus-year career in agriculture with Vigortone Ag Products and Jaindl Turkey Farms.
Darek Nowakowski will continue as president of Smithfield Europe, responsible for all of the company's wholly owned investments in Europe, which compose the majority of the international division. Nowakowski's experience in the food industry spans more than 30 years. He joined Smithfield in 2006 as president of Animex, a Poland-based producer of packaged and fresh meats. Prior to joining Smithfield, he held a variety of management positions in the United States and Canada, including president and CEO of Humpty Dumpty Snack Foods, general manager of Fresh Pork for Maple Leaf Foods, president of ConAgra Grain Processing Co. and president of Janes Family Foods. He began his career with International Multifoods in 1981.
Meanwhile, Timothy Schellpeper stepped down from his role as president and COO of Smithfield Farmland after nearly 25 years with the company and its predecessors. Schellpeper helped design the new organizational structure.