said Joseph W. Luter, 67, will give up the title of chief executive as of Aug. 31, after serving for 31 years as chairman and CEO.
Luter will remain nonexecutive chairman.
The company also said that its board has elected C. Larry Pope, currently president and chief operating officer, as CEO, effective Sept. 1. As chairman, Luter will continue to focus on acquisitions and long-term strategic development.
Pope, 51, joined Smithfield Foods in 1980 as controller. He became vice president of finance, in 1999 and was named chief financial officer in 2000. The board elected him president and chief operating officer in 2001.
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