JBS appoints Vesta president, C.O.O.

by Bryan Salvage
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GREELEY, COLO. – Richard Vesta, who previously served as president of Moyer Packing, Packerland Holdings and then later became president and chief executive of JBS Packerland following JBS’ acquisition of Smithfield Foods’ beef division, has been named president and chief operating officer of JBS USA LLC.

Mr. Vesta will work with Wesley Batista, chief executive officer, to create the operating structure and business strategies of JBS Packerland and JBS Swift, as well as manage both entities, according to news accounts on his most recent promotion.

JBS moved quickly to get established in the U.S. meat industry. In October 2008, just two days after JBS SA announced it intended to immediately complete the purchase of Smithfield Beef Group Inc., Smithfield Foods Inc.’s beef processing and cattle feeding operation, Smithfield Foods announced the sale was completed for $565 million in cash. Thus, faced with a small market share in beef and little potential to grow, Smithfield exited the beef business by selling its beef interests to JBS S.A..

When asked last year after the sale when Smithfield first got involved in beef processing and what its intentions were for its beef business, Keira Ullrich, investor relations manager for Smithfield Foods Inc., told MEATPOULTRY.com, "Smithfield acquired Moyer Packing Co. and Packerland Holdings in 2002. After Smithfield acquired Packerland and Moyer, the company only had a 6% market share. Smithfield hoped to grow critical mass and market share through acquisition, but was unable to do so."

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