Smithfield Foods, Inc. has chosen Shane Smith, a two-decade veteran of the company and, most recently, its chief strategy officer, as president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Smith will be replacing Dennis Organ, who is stepping down for personal reasons.

Before being appointed as the chief strategy officer, Smith served as executive vice president of Smithfield’s European operations. In this role, he spent much of the last decade in Europe, looking after the company’s operations, capital investments, expansion into new markets, and mergers and acquisitions abroad.

The Smithfield Foods operations includes about 18,000 employees, 21 processing facilities, 58 company-owned farms, and more than 1,000 contract farms in 5 countries. Smith’s extensive experience with both the European and US businesses will assist the company in further setting up a more robust and strategic global partnership to franchise best practices across the company’s expansive footprint.

“I am honoured to serve as Smithfield’s next President and CEO and lead an incredible team of more than 63,000 people who all work together to provide families worldwide with wholesome, safe and affordable food. At Smithfield, ‘Good food responsibly,’ is more than something we say. It’s how we approach our work and what we carry out through our mission to produce good food the right way with respect for our people, animals, communities and planet. Together with our talented leadership team, I look forward to furthering our long-term vision that has made us one of the world’s leading consumer packaged protein companies, creating value for a broad range of stakeholders,” averred Smith.

A native of North Carolina, Smith completed his graduation in 1999 from Mount Olive College with a Bachelor of Science in accounting. After holding accounting positions at other companies, he was roped in as a financial analyst by Smithfield in 2003. He received a Master of Business Administration degree from the College of William & Mary. He was promoted to the post of director of financial reporting in 2008 and then to international controller for Smithfield’s international business in 2010.

In this role, Smith oversaw the financial operations in Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Spain. From 2012 until 2018, he worked as vice president and chief financial officer, Smithfield Europe, and as president, Smithfield Romania.

In 2019, Smith served as the executive vice president of European operations, leading the company’s businesses in Europe. In late 2020, he got promoted to his previous role, chief strategy officer, where he aided in development, execution and sustenance the company’s efforts to accomplish growth through its own resources, as well as through mergers and acquisitions. He managed the company’s hog farming operations, as well as Smithfield Renewables, the platform that consolidates Smithfield’s carbon reduction initiatives. As chief strategy officer, the top executive in Europe also reported directly to Smith.

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