GREELEY, COLO. – Fabio Sandri has been named chief executive officer of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. Sandri had been serving as interim CEO following the indictment of former CEO Jayson Penn on price fixing charges. Penn is no longer with Pilgrim’s Pride, according to the company.
Sandri has been the company’s chief financial officer since June 2011.
In early June, a federal grand jury in the US District Court in Denver indicted Penn and three other poultry company executives for their alleged role in a conspiracy to fix prices for broiler chickens, according to the US Department of Justice (DOJ). Penn took a paid leave of absence at that time. During his leave, the company said Penn, who pled not guilty to the charges, would be focusing on his defense to the indictment.
Sandri took over for Penn as interim CEO at that time.
The DOJ said Penn and the three other executives were the first to be charged in an ongoing criminal investigation into price fixing and bid rigging involving broiler chickens. Following the indictment, Tyson Foods Inc., Springdale, Ark., said it was cooperating with the investigation. In July, the US District Court in Colorado announced that the price-fixing trial for Penn would be delayed until 2021.
After receiving a grand jury subpoena in April 2019, Tyson uncovered information about its operations related to the investigation and self-reported it to the Department of Justice. Company management said it is hoping to escape punishment under the DOJ Antitrust Division’s leniency program.