Pilgrim's Pride finance chief to take over as CEO after Penn steps down

(Reuters) - Pilgrim's Pride Corp PPC.O said on Wednesday Chief Financial Officer Fabio Sandri would take the role of chief executive officer, replacing Jayson Penn who is exiting the chicken processing company.

Penn, who was indicted earlier this year on charges of seeking to set a fixed price for chickens with other industry executives, began a paid leave of absence in June. (

Pilgrim's Pride's board of directors in June appointed Sandri as interim president and CEO of the company, which is mostly owned by Brazilian meat packer JBS SA JBSS3.SA.

The charges against Penn and three others in the industry are the first in a criminal probe of price-fixing and bid-rigging involving broiler birds, which account for most chicken meat sold in the United States. The companies have denied the allegations.

Sandri, 49, has been the CFO since June 2011, before which he held top roles in Brazilian firms Estacio Participações and Imbra SA among others.

Pilgrim’s Pride said it has initiated a search to identify a new CFO.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel