GARNER, NC. – Officials with Butterball LLC confirmed the promotion of Neal Walsh to chief operating officer and Bill Folk to vice president of operations effective in late December.
Walsh, who joined the company in 2007, worked as vice president of strategic business initiatives and purchasing before being promoted to vice president of operations in 2019. As COO, Walsh is responsible for the operational oversight of the company’s six turkey processing plants. He also focuses on developing Butterball’s continuous improvement efforts.
Succeeding Walsh in his previous position was Bill Folk, who joined the company in 2006 as part of its acquisition from ConAgra, where he started in 1991. Folk most recently worked as general manager at Butterball’s processing plant in Mount Olive, NC, and previously gained experience managing plant and live operations as well as roles in accounting and human resources. He also worked as complex manager at the company’s Huntsville, Ark., operation. A search for Folk’s replacement is ongoing, Butterball said.
In his new role, Folk leads Butterball’s supply chain operational team, including developing and executing goal-focused operational strategies. His responsibilities include oversight of all processing operations as well as focusing on worker safety, food safety and quality.
Jay Jandrain, president and chief executive officer, said Walsh and Folk have proven track records during their tenures with Butterball and their promotions are well deserved.
“Bill and Neal share a passion for operational excellence that make them both natural fits for these leadership roles. They have proven themselves to be incredibly valuable contributors to our organization,” Jandrain said. “Neal has a notable track record for achieving major cost savings initiatives and efficiencies while always keeping the desires of our customers and consumers top of mind. And Bill is well recognized for his ability to develop team members and build the inclusive environment necessary to achieve success. I am incredibly confident in their abilities to lead our organization to continued growth and improvement.”