Foster Farms, the largest poultry producer in the Western United States, today named Paul Carter president and chief executive officer. Carter succeeds Bob Fox, who will retire at the end of 2000. In his new capacity, Carter will be responsible for overseeing all divisions of Foster Farms and driving company strategy and growth.

Carter first came to Foster Farms in 1979 as director of manufacturing. In 1983 he was named general manager in charge of Foster Farms' production, a post he held until 1986. He then moved on to Perdue Foods, where he served as vice president and general manager before returning to California and Zacky Farms as general manager. Prior to rejoining Foster Farms in 1998, Carter held the positions of president and COO of Choctaw Maid Farms of Carthage, Miss., for eight years.

''Since re-joining the company in 1998 as president of our poultry division, Paul has been instrumental in continuing our performance improvements and significantly expanding our product offerings,'' said George Foster of Foster Farms. ''I am confident in Paul's ability to carry out Foster Farms' mission to be the pre-eminent poultry brand in the nation.''

Carter received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama. He and his wife LaRue have three children, Chris, Grant and Heather.

Foster Farms, with more than $1 billion in annual revenues, is the largest poultry producer in the Western United States. Based in Livingston, Calif., the company has remained a family-owned business since its founding in 1939. In addition to fresh chicken, Foster Farms produces fresh turkey, a marinated fresh chicken line, deli meats, corn dogs, a variety of cooked chicken products and refrigerated chicken entrees. The company produces and delivers 750 million pounds of fresh chicken and turkey each year to retailers, warehouse clubs and foodservice customers throughout the West.