Last Updated Apr 12, 2008 3:49 PM EDT
Wright is replacing J. Clinton Rivers, who ascended to the CEO's office this month, three months after CEO O.B. Goolsby Jr. died of a stroke.
The moves come during a turbulent period for the beleaguered company, but they likely won't do much to help. Feed prices are surging for reasons including the falling dollar, higher fuel costs, poor weather worldwide and the government-assisted shift of corn crops into ethanol production.
In response, Pilgrim's Pride earlier this month announced it would close seven plants and lay off 1,100 workers.
Dealing as it is with forces largely outside its control, Pilgrim's Pride was left with blaming the government for its ills. According to a statement issued by Rivers in the wake of the plant closings, rising costs are "due largely to the U.S. government's ill-advised policy of providing generous federal subsidies to corn-based ethanol blenders."
True enough, but that's just one factor. He left out the others.
Joel Newman, president and CEO the American Feed Industry Association, this week acknowledged that there is a host of causes of rising commodity prices -- ethanol being just one. He added that the situation doesn't appear likely to improve any time soon. Corn selling for $5 a bushel looks to be closer to the new 'normal,'" he said in his annual state of the industry report.