Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. has announced that its board of directors has named Don Jackson as its president and chief executive officer, subject to approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas.
The company filed voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions Dec. 1. Pilgrim’s Pride operates a poultry processing plant in Gainesville and seven other Georgia cities.
The board also appointed Lonnie Ken Pilgrim, its current chairman, as interim president until Jackson’s selection is approved by the bankruptcy court. Jackson will join the company immediately on an interim basis.
Prior to accepting his position with Pilgrim’s Pride, he served as president of Foster Farms’ poultry division, a leading poultry producer on the West Coast.
He will assume the combined duties of Clint Rivers, the former president and chief executive officer, and Robert A. Wright, the former chief operating officer, both of whom resigned from the company today as part of its reorganization process under Chapter 11.
Jackson has been president of Foster Farms’ poultry division, based in Livingston, Calif., since 2000. Prior to that, he served as executive vice president for food service of the former ConAgra Poultry Co. in Duluth.
Before that, he worked for 22 years for Seaboard Farms of Athens, including four years as president and CEO of its poultry division. He received his bachelor of science degree from Arizona State University and his master’s and doctorate degrees from Colorado State University.
"As Pilgrim’s Pride begins the reorganization process, we believe the company and its stakeholders would be best served by a fresh perspective on the opportunities available to us through restructuring," said Lonnie "Bo" Pilgrim, senior chairman of Pilgrim’s Pride.
"Don Jackson is a proven leader with the essential skills and industry insight to position Pilgrim’s Pride to emerge from chapter 11 as a stronger, more efficient, and more focused company."