Pilgrim’s Pride names Fabio Sandri president, CEO

Fabio Sandri has been named the president and CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride, succeeding Jayson Penn, who is no longer with the company.

Roy Graber Headshot
(Courtesy Pilgrim's Pride)
(Courtesy Pilgrim's Pride)

Fabio Sandri has been named the president and CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride, succeeding Jayson Penn, who is no longer with the company.

The company announced Sandri's promotion, effective immediately, the morning of September 23.

“I am humbled and excited to be selected by the Board to lead Pilgrim’s in our next stage of growth and opportunity for our team members,” Sandri said in a press release. “I look forward to working alongside our strong team of professionals around the globe who are committed to realizing Pilgrim’s vision to be the best and most respected company in our industry.”

Sandri joined Pilgrim’s Pride as its chief financial officer in June 2011. However, Sandri’s duties were expanded on June 14, when the company also appointed him to serve as the company’s interim president and CEO, while Penn was on a paid leave of absence.

Penn was one of four U.S. poultry industry executives indicted on June 3 on federal antitrust charges. Penn, along with Roger Austin, a former vice president of Pilgrim’s Pride; Mikell Fries, president of Claxton Poultry; and Scott Brady, Claxton Poultry national accounts sales manager, have been accused of conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for broiler chickens across the United States, from as early as 2012 until at least early 2017.

All four have entered pleas of not guilty, and await a February trial. When Penn was initially placed on leave, the company stated that while on leave, Penn could focus on his defense.

At the time Sandri was appointed interim president and CEO, Gilberto Tomazoni, chairman of the Pilgrim’s Board of Directors, said, “The board has complete confidence in the ability of Fabio and the team to continue to implement Pilgrim’s strategy and successfully run day-to-day operations.”

The company has started a search for a new chief financial officer.

Sandri is the former CFO of Estacio Participações, a private post-secondary educational institution in Brazil, and former corporate controller of Braskem S.A., a New York Stock Exchange-listed petrochemical company headquartered in Camaçari, Brazil. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree in 2001 from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Before Penn became the company’s president and CEO in 2019, he was the president of Pilgrim’s USA.

Pilgrim’s Pride is the second largest broiler company in the United States. It also has operations in Mexico and Europe.

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