SMITHFIELD, Va. – Change is underway at Smithfield Foods Inc. The company announced a realignment of the company's brands and key senior-management positions. The company expects the changes will unify all of its independent operating companies, brands, marketing, and employees while accelerating the company's growth.

The Packaged Meats Division will include all of Smithfield's packaged-meats business that previously operated under Smithfield Farmland and John Morrell Food Group. The company's Fresh Pork division will encompass the former Smithfield Farmland fresh-pork operations, and the company's Hog Production and International businesses will retain their existing structure and leadership while operating under the new divisional structure.

“We are thrilled to launch this new structure that better supports our people, brands and customers while positioning Smithfield to take advantage of opportunities for growth," said Larry Pope, president and CEO. “The steps we are taking today build on our strong momentum and successes as we continue to solidify Smithfield's position as a global leader in branded-packaged meats. Moving to a centralized structure and bringing our resources and brands together into these four operating divisions enables us to best utilize management talent across the company and maintain our commitment to serving our customers as we always have while more effectively providing our full array of products. Further, we are excited about the potential to leverage marketing programs and sponsorships, such as our involvement in NASCAR, across all of our brands.”

In addition to the organizational changes, Smithfield announced that Daniel Kapella has been promoted to president of its subsidiary, Patrick Cudahy LLC, effective March 1.

Kapella will direct the day-to-day management of the company. He succeeds William Otis who will transition to executive vice president of operations, packaged meats division for Smithfield Foods.

Kapella has served as senior vice president of sales and marketing, foodservice for Patrick Cudahy since July 2011. He began his career at Patrick Cudahy in 1986, working part time while completing a degree in business administration at Marquette Univ. He recently earned a master's from Alverno College.

Smithfield also announced several key management appointments in connection with the organizational changes:

• Kenneth Sullivan was named executive vice president in addition to his current role as CFO. Sullivan will oversee consolidated finance, administrative and support services. Sullivan was named CFO in 2013 after serving as vice president of finance from 2010 to 2013, chief accounting officer from 2007 to 2013 and vice president of internal audit from 2003 to 2007.

• Joseph Sebring was appointed president, Packaged Meats Division. Sebring is a meat industry veteran with more than 30 years in the business. He most recently served as president of Smithfield's John Morrell Food Group.

• Scott Saunders has been promoted to president, Fresh Pork Division. Saunders brings nearly 30 years of experience in the food industry to his new position. He was previously CFO of Smithfield's John Morrell Food Group.

• Gregg Schmidt will continue as president of Murphy-Brown LLC's Hog Production Division. Schmidt was named president of Murphy-Brown and assumed leadership of all of its North American swine production operations in 2013, after having served previously as president of Murphy-Brown East Production Operations from 2011 to 2013 and President of the International Division from 2002 to 2011.

• Darek Nowakowski will continue as president of Smithfield Europe, responsible for all of the company's wholly owned investments in Europe, which compose the majority of the International Division. Nowakowski has more than 30 years of experience in the food industry.

“Importantly, our organizational realignment is about growth and harmonization,” Pope said. “In 2013, we promised that under new ownership the company would be ‘The same old Smithfield, but better.’ We have delivered on that promise, and once again we commit to growing and evolving the company without closing any plants or offices, or reducing our workforce. We look forward to maintaining our strong presence in Smithfield, Va.; Kansas City, Mo; Lisle, Ill.; Cincinnati; and the many other communities in which our company operates."