Smithfield Foods Inc. has chosen its new leader from among its existing management team, tapping chief strategy officer and two-decade company veteran Shane Smith as president and CEO. Smith succeeds Dennis Organ, who is stepping down for personal reasons after being named to the post in October 2020.
The shakeup comes at a volatile time for the protein industry. Following pandemic-related challenges in 2020, hog supplies have been declining while prices have been climbing. Last week, President Biden issued an executive order designed to help smaller meat processors compete with larger competitors.
Smith has a wealth of company and industry experience to help him guide the company. Prior to his most recent role as chief strategic officer, he was EVP of European operations and president of Smithfield Romania, where he oversaw the company's hog farming operations and the Smithfield Renewables sustainability platform. He started as a financial analyst at Smithfield, Va.-based Smithfield in 2003.
Smith earned a master of business administration degree from the College of William & Mary, and a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Mount Olive College.
"I am honored 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,” Smith said. “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.”