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SAO PAULO, Aug 31 (Reuters) - BRF SA Chief Executive Pedro de Andrade Faria plans to leave by the end of the year, following a series of heavy quarterly losses by the world's largest chicken exporter.
The company, in a statement, said on Thursday it has already started to look for a replacement for Faria, a former executive of BRF's largest shareholder, investment firm Tarpon Investimentos SA, where he will return after leaving BRF.
BRF posted losses in each of the last three quarters, due to falling sales, rising costs and a food safety scandal.
Common shares of BRF are down 22 percent over the last 12 months.
Faria took the helm in 2015, after retail tycoon Abilio Diniz, currently BRF chairman, partnered with investment firm Tarpon to overhaul management of the food processor.
In a letter released on Thursday evening, Diniz praised Faria and said the company had suffered a "perfect storm," with rising grain prices and Brazil's deepest recession in a century.
A corruption investigation put on hold plans for an IPO of BRF's halal unit in the Middle East. Investors that joined Tarpon when the buyout firm sought to change the company's management, such as Singapore's GIC, have been dissatisfied with the inability of Faria to kickstart results. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira and Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by James Dalgleish)