Foster Farms has announced the appointment of Jayson Penn as the US poultry processor’s new CEO.

Penn succeeds former Tyson Foods’ executive Donnie Smith, who was named CEO of Foster Farms when Atlas Holdings acquired the business from the Foster family owners in June 2022.

The company declined to share when Penn starts his new role.

Penn was most recently president of John Soules Foods, holding that position since October 2022. He began his career in his family’s poultry business and spent nearly a decade with Pilgrim’s, serving as CEO between 2019 and 2020.

He has also held various sales and operations roles with Case Foods, Marshall Durbin Companies, and Sanderson Farms.

Penn said: “We will be focused on serving our team members and supporting our customers with products they can trust. A solid foundation for smart growth has been set, and I’m ready to get started.

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“Foster Farms has been a household name for nearly a century, and I’m excited to continue working to position this iconic brand for success for many years to come.”

As part of the leadership transition, the poultry company also announced James Richards will become chief financial officer.

Atlas Partners’ added: “We are excited to have Jayson on board to lead the transformation journey underway.

“Jayson and James bring immediate strength to the broader leadership team. Jayson’s deep industry experience and commitment to operational excellence provide the right combination to lead Foster Farms into the future.”

Livingstone, California-headquartered Foster Farms was founded in 1939. Its portfolio focuses on chicken and turkey products, supplying retailers and the foodservice channel.

It has ranches in California’s Central Valley and the Pacific Northwest. According to the company, its poultry products “are produced in or near each region served”.

The food business also produces pre-marinated, ready-to-cook and fully-cooked products.