- JBS USA named Wesley Batista Filho as its new CEO, effective May 1. Outgoing CEO Tim Schellpeper chose to retire, the company said in a statement.
- Batista Filho joined JBS in 2011, and has served in several roles within the company’s international C-suite, including president of JBS Canada, president of JBS USA’s fed beef division and CEO of JBS Brazil. Most recently, he served as president of the company’s global operations. He is the grandson of JBS founder Jose Batista Sobrinho, and son of former CEO Wesley Batista.
- The CEO change comes at a time when the meat giant is working to settle several PR disputes, including price fixing settlements and an investigation into reported child labor which occurred at some of its facilities.
This change at the top of JBS provides the opportunity for the company to take a new approach in a variety of areas, from its operational structure to its product portfolio to crisis management.
Schellpeper, who joined JBS in 2017, began leading the company in November 2021 amid a series of executive reshuffling decisions.
Incoming CEO Batista Filho’s familial connection to the company brings an insider’s perspective to tackling the company’s North American operations.
The world’s biggest meat company, which has its global headquarters in Brazil, has worked to overcome several scandals in recent months.
Last week, the beef producer said it canceled ts contracts with Packers Sanitation Services (PSSI) at JBS meatpacking locations at which the cleaning company employed children to clean dangerous equipment. PSSI was fined $1.5 million in February for hiring at least 102 children as cleaners at the plants. The Department of Homeland Security said in January it was investigating whether the children were the victims of a human trafficking ring.
JBS has also been accused of colluding with other industry players to hike meat prices. Last month, the company said it would pay $25 million to a group of consumers that accused the company of fixing the price of beef. And last summer, wholesale distributor Sysco filed a lawsuit in Texas against the largest beef providers, including JBS, accusing them of limiting the number of cattle slaughtered in order to pay farmers less. The litigation for the Sysco suit is pending.