Smithfield Foods has created a new executive position of 'chief people officer' that will focus on developing and implementing the company's strategy to enhance the work environment and offer employees rewarding career paths.

"The first pillar of our company is that 'we will be people oriented.' We recognize that our employees are our number one resource, and we are committed to making Smithfield an employer of choice," said C. Larry Pope, Smithfield's president and CEO, in announcing the new position.

Smithfield has appointed Mark Garrett, who joined the company in 2005, as chief people officer. He will be jointly based in Kansas City, Missouri, and Smithfield, Virginia, but will be responsible for employee development at all of Smithfield's locations. Garrett will report to Dennis Treacy, Smithfield's executive vice president and chief sustainability officer.


In overseeing the company's people strategy, Pope pointed out that Garrett will be responsible for programs that "drive continuous improvement of the work environment across all Smithfield operations. He will work closely with employees throughout our entire organization, overseeing employee development, employee engagement and recognition programs, and diversity and inclusion initiatives, among other efforts."

"I'm excited about the programs and initiatives that Mark will spearhead to make Smithfield Foods a more dynamic workplace with rewarding career paths," Pope said. "Our focus is on making our employees' daily work more enjoyable and their careers more successful."