Brazilian meat giant Marfrig has appointed a former president of ConAgra Foods to head up its Seara subsidiary.

David Alan Palfenier, 55, who has been president of ConAgra Foods' consumer foods snacks and international business since April 2010, will replace Mayr Bonassi as the head of Seara from February. Bonassi has announced his intention to retire at the end of 2012 after 38 years in the Brazilian poultry and pork industry, Marfrig said today (30 January).

He will hand over the reins to Palfenier next month and serve as a member of the company's advisory committee.

Seara was acquired by the Marfrig Group in 2010, and is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of poultry and pork products.

Palfenier joined ConAgra in 2004 as senior VP of marketing and was subsequently appointed president of several business units, including frozen foods, grocery products, refrigerated and speciality brands, and finally snacks.

Before joining ConAgra Foods, he worked for thirteen years at PepsiCo, including as president of the company's Brazil operations, following eight years at P&G.