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Smithfield Creates New Senior Leadership Roles Focused on Innovation

SMITHFIELD, Va., Aug. 19, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smithfield Foods, Inc., today announced the creation of two new senior leadership roles designed to enhance the Company's ongoing commitment to lead the industry in innovation. William Brunt has been named Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, effective August 31, 2015. Additionally, Jeff Warner has been hired as Vice President of Innovation for the Packaged Meats Division, effective August 24, 2015.

In his new role, Mr. Brunt will oversee Smithfield's Innovation Center and have responsibility for new product development within existing categories and new categories as the Company focuses on being a global leader in branded packaged meats. Mr. Brunt will also continue as Senior Vice President of Marketing for several of the Company's core brands, including Smithfield.

As Vice President of Innovation for the Packaged Meats Division, Mr. Warner will report directly to Mr. Brunt and will oversee the Innovation Center team. Mr. Warner brings more than 20 years of experience to this new role, including 18 years with Heinz North America in roles of increasing responsibility spanning innovation, research & development, marketing and engineering. Mr. Warner holds a Bachelor of Science and MBA from Penn State, and is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer, stated, "Establishing these new senior leadership positions demonstrates Smithfield's further commitment to building a company-wide culture of innovation, while remaining true to our core motto of providing customers with 'Good food. Responsibly.' We believe that innovation and thought leadership will ignite future growth in our Packaged Meats division and for the Company overall."

Mr. Pope continued, "Under our new structure, we are continuing to strengthen our team and utilize management talent across the organization in the best way possible. I look forward to the valuable contributions Will and Jeff will both make to the Smithfield family in their new roles."

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Farmland®, Armour®, Cook's®, John Morrell®, Gwaltney®, Nathan's Famous®, Kretschmar®, Margherita®, Curly's®, Carando® and Healthy Ones®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.

CONTACT: Kathleen Kirkham Smithfield Foods, Inc. (757) 365-1965 kkirkham@smithfield.com

Source:Smithfield Foods, Inc.