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SMITHFIELD, Va. - Smithfield Foods Inc. today announced a new, expanded management structure to facilitate the company's rapid growth.
C. Larry Pope was named president and chief operating officer, effective October 29, 2001. Joseph W. Luter, III, chairman and CEO, is relinquishing the title of president, which he previously held. Richard J.M. Poulson and Joseph W. Luter, IV, were named executive vice presidents.
"Smithfield Foods has grown in size and complexity as we have vertically integrated pork processing and hog production, and, more recently, acquired beef operations," said Luter. "The company now has annual sales of more than $8 billion and has doubled in size in the last four years. This management team has the talent and experience to lead our next phase of growth."
All meat processing and hog production operations will report to Pope, 47 years old, who previously was vice president and chief financial officer. A 21-year veteran of Smithfield Foods, he has held several financial positions, including vice president, finance, and corporate controller.
"Larry Pope has been a key member of the management team for over 20 years. The financial discipline he has brought to our operations has been critical," said Luter. "In his new role, Larry will add even more value as the company works to continue to provide some of the highest returns to shareholders in American industry."
Poulson, 63, retains his responsibilities of senior advisor to the chairman as an executive vice president. Joseph W. Luter, IV, 36, will head a major new corporate initiative to invoke a closer relationship between the operating subsidiaries to maximize the available synergies within the Smithfield Foods family of companies. In this new capacity, he will be responsible for coordinating corporate sales and marketing programs, as well as transportation, logistics and information technology affecting the entire organization. He previously was senior vice president, sales and marketing at Smithfield Packing Company.
Daniel G. Stevens, 42, formerly vice president and corporate controller, succeeds Pope as vice president and chief financial officer. He joined Smithfield Foods as corporate controller in 1998. Jeffrey A. Deel, 43, assistant corporate controller, was named corporate controller. He has served on the financial reporting staff of the company since 1994.
The company said that it would close the acquisition of beef processor Packerland Holdings, Inc. next week and that Rich Vesta, president and chief executive of Packerland, would head a new beef division.