Beef and pork processor Swift and Company has announced that executive vice president and chief financial officer Danny C Herron has decided to leave the company by 19 September 2006, the end of his current employment agreement.

"Danny has indicated his intention to pursue leadership opportunities outside of Swift and Company," said Sam Rovit, Swift and Company's president and chief executive officer. "We are extremely grateful for his many significant contributions over the past seven years, and we wish him the best in his future endeavours."

"In particular, I'd like to thank Danny for his role in creating the infrastructure that enabled Swift to stand on its own when it was acquired from ConAgra by Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst and Booth Creek Management in 2002, and for his co-leadership of the company in the two months following my predecessor's resignation," Rovit said.

"I feel that my work at Swift is largely done," said Herron. "I have been able to build and lead an extremely strong finance team that positions Swift well for the future. My eventual goal is to lead a company, and the timing of my decision seems right."

A search for a new chief financial officer will begin immediately. Herron has agreed to serve in his current capacity until the employment of his successor, and he is expected to remain with the company for a short period of time subsequently to assist with transition efforts.