PITTSBURG, Texas -- Pilgrim's Pride Corporation yesterday announced that its board of directors has named Don Jackson as its president and CEO subject to approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. The board also appointed Lonnie Ken Pilgrim, its current chairman, as interim president until such time as Dr. Jackson's employment is approved by the bankruptcy court.



Jackson will join the company immediately on an interim basis. Prior to accepting his position with Pilgrim's Pride, he served as president of Foster Farms' poultry division, a leading poultry producer on the West Coast. He will assume the combined duties of Clint Rivers, the former president and chief executive officer, and Robert A. Wright, the former chief operating officer, both of whom resigned from the company today as part of its reorganization process under Chapter 11.



Jackson has been president of Foster Farms' poultry division, based in Livingston, California, since 2000. Prior to that, he served as executive vice president for foodservice of the former ConAgra Poultry Company in Duluth, Georgia. Before that he worked for 22 years for Seaboard Farms of Athens, Georgia, including four years as president and CEO of their poultry division. He received his bachelor of science degree from Arizona State University and his master's and Ph.D. degrees from Colorado State University.



"As Pilgrim's Pride begins the reorganization process, we believe the company and its stakeholders would be best served by a fresh perspective on the opportunities available to us through restructuring," said Lonnie "Bo" Pilgrim, senior chairman of Pilgrim's Pride. "Don Jackson is a proven leader with the essential skills and industry insight to position Pilgrim's Pride to emerge from Chapter 11 as a stronger, more efficient, and more focused company."



Pilgrim added: "Clint and Bob have both made tremendous contributions throughout their careers at Pilgrim's Pride, and we are grateful for their commitment and dedicated service during a very difficult time for our company and our industry. We wish both of them continued success in their careers."



As previously announced, the Company filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions on Dec. 1, 2008. The Chapter 11 cases are being jointly administered under case number 08-45664. The Company's operations in Mexico and certain operations in the United States were not included in the filing and continue to operate as usual outside of the Chapter 11 process.



Pilgrim's Pride Corporation employs approximately 48,000 people and operates 35 chicken processing plants and 11 prepared-foods facilities. Pilgrim's Pride products are sold to foodservice, retail and frozen entree customers. The Company's primary distribution is through retailers, foodservice distributors and restaurants throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and in the Northern and Central regions of Mexico.



SOURCE: Pilgrim's Pride Corporation.