One’s passion and dedication can easily be seen in this industry. For Kenneth M. Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer for Smithfield Foods, that passion is as clear as day. Following a distinguished four-decade-long career—nearly half of which was spent at Smithfield—Sullivan has announced his retirement from the company, effective in early 2021. Dennis Organ, current Chief Operating Officer of U.S. Operations, will succeed Sullivan as President and Chief Executive Officer upon his retirement.
“I am incredibly thankful and excited to have the opportunity to lead and serve Smithfield. I want to personally thank WH Group for their trust and confidence in me,” said Organ. “We are tremendously fortunate to have had Ken at the helm of our company for the last five years, and particularly this past year. Thanks to Ken and his leadership, and the actions of our Smithfield Family, our ROI guiding principles now underpins everything we do and are our keys to success. Building on our [Responsibility, Operational Excellence, and Innovation (ROI)] foundation together is our path forward.”
Organ joined Smithfield in 2010 and assumed his current position as Chief Operating Officer, 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.
During his five years as President and Chief Executive Officer, Sullivan delivered record results and led Smithfield through a monumental transformation. Several years of his CEO-ship were devoted to the ultimate realization of “One Smithfield,” the initiative that unified all Smithfield’s operations, brands, and more than 55,000 employees globally under one corporate umbrella.
“Building on the successes of the last five years, it is the right time for me to make way for the next generation of leadership. I am leaving our company in extremely capable hands. Dennis lives and breathes our Operational Excellence guiding principle. At his core, he tirelessly seeks out opportunities to improve the way we do business. We must be operationally excellent to succeed, and Dennis will continue to transform our company into a best in class operator in his role as President and Chief Executive Officer,” commented Sullivan.
Wan Long, Executive Director, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer for WH Group, Smithfield’s publicly traded parent company, also expressed his welcome to the change in leadership as well as the future of the company.
“Ken has provided outstanding leadership to Smithfield over the last five years. We are extremely grateful for his many contributions to WH Group throughout his tenure and wish him well in his retirement,” Long stated. “Looking forward, Dennis’ experience as Chief Operating Officer will prove invaluable as he leads Smithfield forward. We believe he is the ideal person to continue to optimize Smithfield’s unique assets for the benefit of all our stakeholders. We believe Smithfield’s best days are yet to come.”
We here at Deli Market News wish Kenneth M. Sullivan and Dennis Organ all the best on the next step in their journeys!