Pilgrim’s Pride Names New CEO

By Pan Demetrakakes, Senior Editor

Mar 22, 2019

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. has promoted the head of its USA division to be president and CEO.

Jayson Penn, currently president of Pilgrim’s USA, will succeed Bill Lovette, who is retiring after eight years at the poultry company’s helm. Penn will take the position immediately.

During Lovette’s tenure, Pilgrim’s Pride’s revenues increased from $6.9 billion to $10.9 billion, while its stock price more than tripled. Lovette diversified the company’s product portfolio, extended operations to Europe and expanded its presence in Mexico.

“Working alongside Bill for these last eight years at Pilgrim's has been the highlight of my career and his constant support, leadership by example and strong work ethic have made this seamless transition possible,” Penn said in a statement.

Penn joined Pilgrim's in March 2011 and has served as senior vice president of the commercial business group, executive vice president of sales and operations and, most recently, as president of Pilgrim's USA. Prior to Pilgrim's, Penn served in management positions at several leading poultry companies, starting with one owned by his family.