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DALLAS -- O.B. Goolsby Jr., 60, the chief executive who built Pilgrim's Pride Corp. here into poultry powerhouse, died Monday two days after suffering a massive stroke.
The company said Goolsby was stricken Saturday while on a hunting trip with customers in South Texas. He was airlifted to a San Antonio hospital.
Pilgrim's Pride said it will appoint a special committee of its board to search for a new president and c.e.o. It said it has not set a timetable for naming a replacement.
"Our company has lost a gracious, talented leader who served as an inspiration to everyone around him, and we are deeply saddened by his death," company co-founder and senior chairman Lonnie "Bo" Pilgrim said in a statement.
Pilgrim further credited Goolsby for guided Pilgrim's Pride through a period of growth with honesty and humor.
Last year, Pilgrim's Pride launched a hostile $1.1 billion takeover of rival Gold Kist Inc. The move succeeded after Pilgrim's Pride sweetened its initial offer with a deal that vaulted the Texas company to the top of the chicken-producing industry. Pilgrim's Pride said the acquisition helped it compete better in the United States and overseas.
Goolsby is survived by his wife, Barbara, three children and 11 grandchildren.