West Liberty Foods has announced the promotion of Brandon Achen to president & chief executive officer, effective May 31, 2022. Achen is a 16-year industry veteran who started with West Liberty Foods as an intern and has since seen a long tenure in operations, supply chain management and key customer relationship management for the organization. He was promoted to president in 2020. Throughout his time at West Liberty Foods, Achen has gained valuable experience in operations scheduling, engineering, and executive management while also taking on the challenges of risk management, supply chain disruptions, and the recent global pandemic.
In 2014, Achen received the “30 Under 30 Award” at the International Poultry and Processing Expo. He is a graduate of Iowa State University and is certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) by the APICS Organization. Achen is also a standing board member of the Iowa Turkey Federation and the National Turkey Federation. Born in Iowa and raised on his parent’s turkey farm, Achen quickly learned the skills of properly caring for turkeys while managing a farming operation, making him a well-rounded choice to lead a company owned by a cooperative of farmers.
“Our board of directors and executive management team are excited for our next generation of leadership,” said Paul Hill, chairman of West Liberty Foods. “Brandon has extensive experience with our major customers and vendors, drives innovation and process improvement, and knows our organization from the farm throughout our facilities. We are confident Brandon will lead West Liberty Foods to further growth and success as we continue to forge the future of proteins for the food industry.”
Achen said, “I’m humbled by the opportunity to lead our great organization. We have a lot of things to be proud of and optimistic about at West Liberty Foods, and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for us.”
West Liberty Foods recently announced that its CEO, Ed Garrett, would be retiring at the end of the month. Garrett has been CEO since 2004. In order to ensure a smooth transition in leadership, and as part of the company’s succession plan, Garrett and Achen have worked together for the past several years to immerse Achen in all facets of the company’s business.