Smithfield Foods Inc. recently provided an update on its succession progress after announcements last month. Kenneth Sullivan, president and chief executive officer (CEO), is retiring from the company, and Dennis Organ, chief operating officer of U.S. operations, was chosen to succeed him.
“Transition activities are moving forward approximately one month ahead of schedule, facilitated by the close working relationship and shared strategies of Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Organ,” the company said. “Mr. Organ has moved swiftly to install a new leadership team and assume the responsibilities of the office.”
The prompt transition resulted in the board determining that Organ could assume the position of president and CEO on Nov. 27.
Sullivan intends to spend the balance of his time as an advisor to Organ, advocating for vaccine prioritization and visiting with the company’s heroic and essential frontline workers in its facilities across the country. Sullivan will remain an employee of Smithfield through Jan. 3, 2021.
During his five years as president and CEO, Sullivan delivered record results and led Smithfield through a monumental transformation. Several years of his CEO tenure were devoted to the ultimate realization of "One Smithfield," the initiative that unified all of Smithfield's operations, brands and more than 55,000 employees globally under one corporate umbrella.
Sullivan championed Smithfield's many industry-leading sustainability initiatives and has been an ardent supporter of the company's social purpose to improve food security and end hunger by donating high-quality, nutritious food and its philanthropic efforts that honor the service and sacrifice of American veterans and their families, among others.
Organ joined Smithfield in 2010 and assumed his current position as chief operating officer of U.S. operations, in 2019. For the past two years, he has overseen the day-to-day operations of the company's entire vertically integrated domestic business, including its more than 40,000 team members across 32 states.