Beef and pork producer Swift & Company executive vice president and CFO Danny Herron will leave the company when his contract finishes on 19 September 2006.

Herron said: “I feel that my work at Swift is largely done, 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.”

Last week (17 February) the company cut approximately 300 Swift & Co meatpacking jobs, saying the Japanese ban on beef imports had driven down price margins and forced an industry downturn. On the same day, Swift’s meatpacking plant in Nebraska was prohibited from shipping beef to Japan by the US Department of Agriculture (17 February) after violating export rules.

Swift & Company’s president and CEO Sam Rovit said: “Danny has indicated his intention to pursue leadership opportunities outside of Swift & Company, 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.”