Smithfield Foods CEO Larry Pope to retire at the end of the year
C. Larry Pope, the CEO of Smithfield Foods Inc., plans to retire on Dec. 31.
He will be succeeded by Kenneth Sullivan, currently president and chief operating officer at the company, which is the world's largest pork processor and hog producer.
Pope has worked for the Smithfield-based company for 35 years and has been CEO for nine years.
“This planned leadership transition comes at a time of strength and growth for Smithfield. 2014 and 2015 have been the two best years in Smithfield’s history for financial performance, and I believe the company is primed for ongoing success,” Pope said in a statement.
Sullivan was named president and chief operating officer earlier this year. He has held a number of positions at Smithfield, including serving as chief financial officer from 2013 to 2015, vice president of finance from 2010 to 2013 and chief accounting officer from 2007 to 2013.
Before joining Smithfield in 2003, Sullivan worked for 12 years at large public accounting and consulting firms.
Smithfield, which has annual sales of $15 billion, is owned by Shuanghui Group, the largest meat producer in China.