Tulip Manufacturing at Westerleigh

Source: Pilgrim’s UK

The protein giant has created a new European executive team tasked with driving further integration of Moy Park, Pilgrim’s UK and Pilgrim’s Food Masters

JBS has accelerated the integration of its main UK businesses Moy Park, Pilgrim’s UK and Pilgrim’s Food Masters, through the creation of a new executive team for its nascent Pilgrim’s Europe operation. 

The Brazilian protein giant has created a team of 15 senior execs, who will be tasked with scoping out a future integrated operating model for JBS’s businesses in Europe.

They will be led by Pilgrim’s UK’s Brazilian president Ivan Siqueira, who was appointed to a new strategic role as president of Pilgrim’s Europe in November – with overall responsibility for Moy Park, Pilgrim’s UK and Pilgrim’s Food Masters, plus Pilgrim’s Shared Services, which was established as a combined back office operation for the businesses in June 2022.

However, the “brutal and punishing” process behind the announcement of the new Pilgrim’s Europe executive team – which was presented to senior teams at the three divisions last Thursday – has come under fire. 

One senior executive who works within one of the three main processing businesses was “appalled at the insulting execution” of the reorganisation. They also warned the restructure could be “ruinous” for trading relationships with major retailers due to the further influx of Brazilian executives under the new team and the resulting loss of continuity. 

Siqueira has appointed three further Brazilian executives to the new team: Guilherme Cardozo as procurement director; Raphael Lomonaco as sales director for export, wholesale and B2B; and Ivanor Clasen joins as added value business unit director. 

These new executives are in addition to new agriculture director Fabio Brancher and new operational excellence director Daltro Strege, who have been working for Pilgrim’s UK since February 2023 and June 2022 as operations director for agriculture and director of operational excellence respectively. 

In addition to president Ivan Siqueira, the new Pilgrim’s Europe executive team consists of: 

  • Nick Robinson as chief commercial officer and interim lead for the branded and snacking business.
  • Morten Knudsen as chief financial officer
  • James Casserly as chief financial officer for shared services
  • Kirsty Wilkins as chief people officer
  • Ursula Lavery as technical & research and development director
  • Guilherme Cardozo as procurement director
  • Fabio Brancher as agriculture director
  • Daltro Strege as operational excellence director
  • Raphael Lomonaco as sales director – export/wholesale/B2B
  • Jean-Marc Spanghero as food service business unit director
  • Justin Coleman as poultry business unit director
  • Roger Martin as meals business unit director
  • Lee Rampling as pork/lamb business unit director
  • Ivanor Clasen as added value business unit director 

The source said the new integrated structure, which would effectively create the UK’s largest food business, with sales in excess of £4.2bn a year, was announced to the three business unit senior teams “without consultation or process”.

They claimed that those who had lost their jobs “received no communication, other than they will not be in the new structure”.

“Some illustrious colleagues who’ve worked so hard during the pandemic and the cost of living crisis have been sacked and incredibly they’ve been told to stick around for six months to help deliver the restructure,” the source added.

In addition, many of those in the senior teams who have not been included in the new structure are women, with only two included in the new European executive team. 

“I have no issue with the restructure per se, it was inevitable there would be consolidation, but it was brutal and punishing,” the source added. And with ”no apparent consideration for gender diversity, this looks like a case of jobs for the boys from Brazil”, they said. 

Further questions over what the source said had been described as a “footprint optimisation” exercise by Siqueira that could lead to factory closures also needed to be addressed, they suggested.

But in response, a spokesman for Pilgrim’s UK played down the controversy, stressing “all new appointments will continue with their current roles”, while insisting no positions had yet been identified as being at risk of redundancy.

Existing executive teams for the individual businesses would also “remain in place as the new Pilgrim’s Europe executive team works with leaders to scope out operational models for their respective areas of responsibility”, he added.

“During this time, there will be no changes to the ways of working across our business units. The structure of our teams, existing roles, and all reporting lines remain unaffected.”

And on the concerns around diversity, a spokesperson added: “Pilgrim’s Europe is part of the world’s largest food company with operations on all continents and it is part of our culture as a global company to embrace diversity and opportunities are provided for employees at all levels to work abroad.

“We are fully committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) and women are in leadership roles across our businesses. We are continually working to ensure we have practices that support these values to recruit, retain and develop the best talent.”

Siqueira said: “We have great people, great products, great brands and great businesses, and as Pilgrim’s Europe we come together to form the biggest food business in the UK offering unrivalled capabilities, skills and services.

“This team will be instrumental in driving greater collaboration, integration and synergies across our businesses and will work closely with our individual teams and businesses to set our future operating model.

“The future is exciting for our people and our customers as we continue on our journey to become the best and most respected company in our industry.”