Pilgrim's Pride Corporation announced that O.B. Goolsby, Jr. has been named its chief executive officer and will continue to serve as the company's president and chief operating officer.
Pilgrim's Pride also announced that its board of directors has elected Keith W. Hughes as a new outside director and audit committee member. The election of Hughes increases the total number of Pilgrim's Pride directors to 13, of which eight are outside directors.
Bo Pilgrim, founder and chairman of the board of Pilgrim's Pride, said, "Pilgrim's Pride has made extraordinary strides under O.B.'s leadership as the company's president and chief operating officer. In addition to shepherding our company through the integration of last year's acquisition of ConAgra's chicken division, he has played a vital role as we have generated record earnings for our shareholders and have positioned Pilgrim's Pride to capitalize on future growth opportunities in our industry through the steady execution of our value-creating strategy. As we emerge from what has been one of the most exciting and transformative periods in our company's history, (this) announcement underscores our board's belief in O.B.'s ability to continue delivering long-term benefits to our customers, employees and shareholders. We are grateful for the trust our stakeholders have put in us, and I am confident that, under O.B.'s leadership, we will continue to demonstrate that this trust is well-deserved."
Goolsby said, "I am honored to assume the additional responsibilities of chief executive officer and look forward to continue working in this added capacity with the many thousands of excellent people who make up the Pilgrim's Pride family. Despite the recent increase in our size and scale, our focus on quality, service and integrity -- along with ease of doing business -- remains stronger than ever, and I am committed to ensuring that these founding principles continue to guide us as we seize the opportunities for sustained growth that lie ahead."
Prior to assuming the positions of president and chief operating officer in 2002, Goolsby served as executive vice president, Prepared Food Complexes since 1998. He was appointed senior vice president, Prepared Foods Operations, in 1992, and vice president, Prepared Foods Operations, in 1987. Goolsby joined Pilgrim's Pride in 1969 in the Food Sales Division. In 1978, he became general manager of the company's largest production facility in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, before leaving the company in 1981 to pursue other interests. He returned to Pilgrim's Pride in 1986.
Goolsby holds bachelor's degrees in business administration from Baylor University and in petroleum geology from the University of Oklahoma.
Hughes was chairman and CEO of Dallas-based Associates First Capital from 1994 to 2000 when it merged with Citigroup, and served as Associates First Capital's president and chief operating officer from 1991 to 1994. Prior to joining Associates, he held various roles in the financial services industry working for Continental Illinois Bank in Chicago, Northwestern Bank in Minneapolis and Crocker Bank in San Francisco.
Hughes is a member of the board of directors of Carreker Corporation, a financial software and consulting organization; Texas Industries Inc., a producer of steel, concrete and aggregate construction material; and Certegy Inc., a credit card and check authorization business. He is a former vice chairman and member of the board of directors of Citigroup.
In Dallas, he serves on the board of the Children's Medical Center and is a member of the board of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School Foundation. His past board memberships have included the Salvation Army of Dallas and the Dallas Museum of Art.
He holds a bachelor of science degree and an MBA from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.