Pilgrim's Pride finds a new CEO

The board of directors at Pilgrim's Pride Corp., which claims to be the world's largest chicken company, March 5 unanimously elected J. Clinton Rivers, current COO, as president/CEO, effective immediately.

A special subcommittee of the board had been conducting a search for a new president/CEO following the unexpected death of O.B. Goolsby Jr. last December.

"After a thorough review of internal and external candidates, the board unanimously agreed that Clint has the right combination of experience and skills necessary to lead Pilgrim's Pride into the future," said Ken Pilgrim, chairman of the Pittsburg, Texas-based processor.

"Our company and industry are facing unprecedented challenges from soaring feed-ingredient costs and other issues,” Pilgrim continued. “Throughout his career at Pilgrim's Pride, Clint has played a pivotal role in positioning the company for operational growth, leading the integration of several large acquisitions, establishing key performance benchmarks at our production facilities, and finding new ways to operate more efficiently. Clint loves a challenge, and we are confident that he will provide the leadership necessary to position the company for long-term growth."

Rivers, 49, has held a number of increasingly responsible management positions. He joined the company as quality assurance manager in 1986 and was appointed plant manager of the Mt. Pleasant, Texas, production facility in 1989. In 1992, he was promoted to vice president of prepared foods operations, then moved up to senior vice president of prepared foods operations, then to executive vice president of prepared foods operations. In 2004, he was appointed COO.

The company said no decision has been made yet about a new COO.

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