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Shoemaker Resigns as Butterball CEO

by 5m Editor
28 April 2011, at 11:28pm

US - Butterball announced earlier this week that its CEO and president, Keith Shoemaker, has resigned.

News Observer reports that the company give no reason for Mr Shoemaker's departure. No immediate replacement has been named.

In the interim, members of Butterball's board will assume the CEO responsibilities, according to a company news release.

Mr Shoemaker's resignation comes seven months after Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, agreed to sell its interest in Butterball. Butterball is now a joint venture between Maxwell Farms and Seaboard Corp. of Kansas.

Walter Pelletier, president of Maxwell Farms and board member of Butterball, said: "Butterball thanks Mr Shoemaker for his valuable service and for successfully guiding the company through last year's change in ownership as well as his role in making the company what it is today."

Steven Bresky, president and CEO of Seaboard, said that Mr Shoemaker's departure would not result in any major operational changes at Butterball.

He explained: "During this transition we do not anticipate major changes in any areas of production or employment. It is business as usual."

Smithfield sold its interest in Butterball after Maxwell did not accept the company's $200 million offer for Maxwell's stake in the turkey producer.

Butterball employs 80 people in Garner, North Carolina, where it moved its headquarters in 2008. The company is best known for its whole turkeys and its telephone help line, which assists thousands of cooks at Thanksgiving. The company also produces sandwich meat and other turkey products, and has contracts with hundreds of poultry farmers.

According to News Observer, Seaboard owns an eclectic mix of businesses, including a pork producer, a shipping service, a commodity trading and grain milling unit and a power company that provides electricity in the Dominican Republic.