SMITHFIELD, Va. – Richard J. M. Poulson, executive vice president of Smithfield Foods Inc. plans to retire on Sept. 1, the company announced. Mr. Poulson joined the company in 1998, serving as the company’s counsel to oversee its merger and acquisition activity. He was appointed to the e.v.p. position in 2001.

Poulson has been an important member of Smithfield’s senior management team and has been helpful in Smithfield’s growth from a domestic provider of excellent pork products into one of the world's most respected and recognized meat protein suppliers, said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer.

“He has been instrumental in many of Smithfield's major acquisitions, including leading our acquisitions in Poland, Romania and Western Europe, as well as serving as an important advisor to our board of directors,” he added. "We truly appreciate Dick's dedication, enthusiasm and business insights and wish him all the success for the future.”