WLR Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: WLRF), one of the nation's leading producers and processors of poultry food products, today announced the selection of global executive recruiting firm Korn/Ferry International to assist in the search for a new President and Chief Executive Officer. The new executive will succeed James L. Keeler, who has announced his retirement after serving as WLR Foods' leader since 1988. The final year of Mr. Keeler's employment agreement with the Company, which commences July 1, 2000, is designated as a transition year to allow Mr. Keeler and the Board of Directors to identify a successor. William H. Groseclose, Chairman of the Search Committee, said, "Our new Chief Executive Officer will be articulate, charismatic and capable of energizing a team. With a proven track record of performance, he or she will have demonstrated the ability to direct the overall strategic vision of the Company and significantly impact the business, both in the short and long term, as well as to provide vision and leadership to employees at all levels of the organization. We turned to Korn/Ferry because of its strong reputation in the consumer products industry and its track record in helping companies recruit senior-level executives." John Bassler, Managing Director in Korn/Ferry's global consumer products practice, will head the search team with the assistance of Michael Dunford, Managing Director in Chicago. Together, they have more than 30 years of executive search experience, especially at the senior-most levels. According to Mr. Bassler, "We are delighted to have this opportunity, and look forward to working closely with WLR Foods. With its cooperative team approach and long-standing commitment to the development of high quality, innovative products, WLR Foods is unique among food producers and marketers and is an extremely dynamic organization in which to work."