O’Callaghan replaces Tarek Farahat who took over in May after Joesley Batista stepped down in the wake of allegations of bribery. Farahat will remain with JBS working as Global Advisor and will maintain his position on the board of Pilgrim’s Pride, a JBS subsidiary.
The board of directors also unanimously elected Cledorvino Belini, Roberto Penteado de Camargo Ticoulat and Wesley Batista Filho to the board. The three and O’Callaghan join José Batista Sobrinho, Gilberto Meirelles Xandó Baptista, Aguinaldo Gomes Ramos Filho, José Gerardo Grossi and Sérgio Roberto Waldrich on the nine-member board.
Belini worked for Fiat for 44 years, serving as president in Brazil and Latin America for 11 years between 2004 and 2015. He was also president of the National Association of Automobile Manufactures (Anfavea) between 2010 and 2013.
Penteado de Camargo Ticoulat holds leadership positions in international trade associations, including the Brazilian Council of Importers and Exporters (CECIEx), where he is the president, and the São Paulo Trade Association (ACSP), where he serves as vice president.
Filho, who recently assumed the role of president of JBS South America, has served as president of JBS operations in Uruguay, Paraguay and Canada, and led the beef operations in the US.
“I am convinced that the new composition of the board, including professionals with extensive experience and four independent members, is an important milestone in the strengthening of JBS corporate governance,” O’Callaghan said. “In addition, I am confident that this board will continue to provide support to the initiatives of the company’s officers for the prosperity of the business, as well as in promoting its relevant social function.”
The Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) recently opened a “Sanctioning Administrative Proceeding” against O’Callaghan. The agency is accusing O’Callaghan of not questioning managers and controllers of JBS SA regarding the plea agreement reached by federal prosecutors and Joesley and Wesley Batista. CVM also claims that O’Callaghan failed to disclose information about the agreement to the market in a timely manner and by using a “Material Fact” form, which is used to inform the market about company details.
In a ‘Notice To The Market’ dated May 18, JBS SA confirmed seven executives had reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, and O’Callaghan’s name appeared on the document. The news rattled the Brazilian stock market and dragged down shares in JBS.
The Batista brothers later were arrested and jailed pending trial on charges of insider trading and manipulation of the stock market. Federal prosecutors accused the brothers of minimizing their financial losses — spurred by news of the plea deal — by buying and selling millions of JBS shares before giving evidence to prosecutors as part of the agreement.
The string of corruption and food safety scandals that have followed JBS SA led the company to withdraw plans for an initial public offering for a processed food business in the United States.