Blog: Dean BestCEO departures signal turmoil in US meat

Dean Best | 6 January 2009

In just three weeks, two of the US meat industry's top executives have resigned – a sign perhaps of the problems in the sector.

Yesterday (5 January), Dick Bond, president and CEO of Tyson Foods stepped down from the helm of the world's largest meat processor.

Bond's departure follows hot on the heels of that of Clint Rivers, who, along with his chief operating officer, resigned from ailing US poultry giant Pilgrim's Pride just before Christmas.

The US meat sector has suffered from a perfect storm of rising commodity costs, an over-supply of chicken and weak consumer demand. That combination has led meat processors to scramble to cut costs, although the moves have failed to restore confidence in the sector. Pilgrim's entered Chapter 11 just before Christmas, while Tyson is using all of its assets as collateral for a fresh credit agreement.

While Tyson is in a far stronger position than Pilgrim's – thanks in no small part to its exposure to international markets – both companies have opted for experience as they look to navigate the turmoil in the sector.

Pilgrim's has now appointed Don Jackson, formerly president of Foster Farms' poultry division, as president and CEO, subject to approval by the US Bankruptcy Court for Texas.

Tyson, meanwhile, has hired former chairman and CEO Leland Tollett to run the company on an interim basis, until a permanent boss is chosen.

Experience will be key to both companies during what looks likely to be a tough 2009. Commodity prices have come off from last year's highs but the economic downturn is hitting consumer demand and therefore prices for meat.


BLOG

Will Amazon Go be retail "game-changer"?

Ask any FMCG executive to list the trends shaking up the sector and digital and e-commerce will be pretty high on the list. Drill down into that and Amazon will be one of the subjects in the digital s...

BLOG

UK food producers call for "best possible single market access" post-Brexit

Since Theresa May took over as UK Prime Minister in the wake of the country's referendum vote to quit the European Union, she and her ministers have been at pains not to divulge their negotiating posi...

BLOG

Greenpeace trains sights on Sainsbury's over John West tuna

Greenpeace's long-running campaign against UK tuna brand John West, owned by seafood giant Thai Union, is now directing its fire against Sainsbury's....

just-food homepage



Forgot your password?