The head of WH Group, who engineered its acquisition of Smithfield Foods, has stepped down as CEO while remaining its chairman.
Wan Long, 81, worked his way up from a slaughterhouse in Henan province to build the world’s largest pork company. WH Group, formerly known as Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd., acquired Smithfield in 2013, in a $4.7 billion deal that Long masterminded.
Long will remain on the company’s board as chairman. The company said that the Hong Kong stock exchange, on which the company is listed, requires that the CEO and chairman positions be filled by separate individuals, according to the Wall Street Journal. CFO Guo Lijun will be promoted to the top spot.
About two months ago, WH Group fired Long’s son, Wan Hongjian, for “aggressive behaviors.” Wan Hongjian recounted in a newspaper interview how he had once punched a door and banged his head on a cabinet when told to leave his father’s office.