SHANE SMITH, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF SMITHFIELD FOODS - INTERVIEW
Shane Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smithfield Foods has been selected by the Judges of World Biz Magazine's Annual Awards to be a recipient of the Top 100 CEOs in Innovation Award 2022. This selection follows a stringent process that evaluated over 40,000 nominees to select the exclusive list of 100 winners. Charles Brown will appear in the Top 10 of the 100 winners.
Shane Smith assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer for Smithfield Foods in 2021. Based at the global food company’s headquarters in Smithfield, Virginia, he guides the leading protein company’s vision and strategic direction across operations in the United States, Europe and Mexico with a special focus on unlocking the value in its vertically integrated business model.
For Mr. Smith, “Good food. Responsibly.®” is more than a company tagline – it’s how Smithfield approaches its work and carries out its mission to produce good food the right way – by taking good care of its animals, doing good for the environment and local communities and providing more than 60,000 good jobs.
Since joining the company in 2003, Mr. Smith has held a variety of leadership roles in Smithfield’s U.S. and international operations. He most recently served as chief strategy officer, leading the company’s organic and M&A growth initiatives. In that role, Mr. Smith was also directly responsible for the company’s Hog Production business; Smithfield Renewables, the platform that unifies its carbon reduction and clean energy ventures; and Smithfield’s European and Mexican operations.
A North Carolina native, Mr. Smith graduated from Mount Olive College in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting. After holding accounting positions at other companies, he joined Smithfield as a financial analyst. While at Smithfield, Mr. Smith earned a Master of Business Administration from the College of William & Mary. He was promoted to director of financial reporting in 2008 and to international controller for Smithfield’s international business in 2010. In this role, Mr. Smith managed Smithfield’s financial operations in Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Spain. From 2012 until 2018, he served as vice president and chief financial officer, Smithfield Europe, and as president, Smithfield Romania. In 2019, Mr. Smith became executive vice president of European operations.
Share with us some of Smithfield Foods' recent successes under your leadership.
Our success as a company depends on our people. In the last 12 months, our leadership team has focused on becoming an employer of choice and on attracting and retaining talent. We’ve assembled a winning team that is employing highly collaborative, data-driven decision-making processes across our company.
Smithfield is a vertically integrated pork producer, meaning we own and run operations spanning the end-to-end pork supply chain, from hog farms and feed mills to harvest facilities, processing plants and a distribution network. Our focus is on maximizing the value of our unique business model, implementing process improvements and making strategic investments to improve every aspect of our operations.
As we continue to identify new ways improve the way we do business, Smithfield remains committed to producing "Good food. Responsibly.®" and achieving “good” for our people, animals, communities and planet. Further, we’re committed to educating people about the science and labor associated with producing food, and we’re working hard to continue to meet the growing global demand for protein.
"As we continue to identify new ways improve the way we do business, Smithfield remains committed to producing "Good food. Responsibly.®" and achieving “good” for our people, animals, communities and planet. Further, we’re committed to educating people about the science and labor associated with producing food, and we’re working hard to continue to meet the growing global demand for protein."
Share with us some insight into the innovation culture at Smithfield Foods.
Innovation, along with responsibility and operational excellence, is part of our DNA at Smithfield. We seek fresh ideas in all aspects of business, including ways to work smarter, serve customers better, and make us a better company.
With so many variables in our business model, we must continually innovate to make our operations more sustainable. We’re always looking for new ways to use our company and planet’s resources more wisely, and we are working harder than ever to provide families everywhere with nutritious, delicious and affordable food with outstanding quality and value.
How does Smithfield Foods stand out in the Cannabis market?
In addition to our commitment to customer service, at Smithfield we’re continually setting ambitious sustainability goals and targets that enhance our animal care; expand diversity, equity and inclusion; protect the environment; ensure food safety and quality; promote health and wellness; help our communities and foster top-notch worker health and safety. As we continue to make progress toward our own goals, we support our customers, suppliers and farmers in our value chain in furthering their own sustainability objectives.
"Sustainability prepares companies like ours for foreseen and unforeseen challenges. Over the last two decades, Smithfield’s commitment to continuous improvement has spurred extensive research and investments across our vertically integrated value chain. As a result, we have pioneered efforts addressing some of the greatest challenges and opportunities facing our industry."
Share with us some details of Smithfield Foods' commitment to CSR.
Sustainability prepares companies like ours for foreseen and unforeseen challenges. Over the last two decades, Smithfield’s commitment to continuous improvement has spurred extensive research and investments across our vertically integrated value chain. As a result, we have pioneered efforts addressing some of the greatest challenges and opportunities facing our industry.
Our approach to sustainability at Smithfield is holistic, spanning seven core pillars: animal care; diversity, equity and inclusion; environment; food safety and quality; health and wellness; helping communities; and worker health and safety. These pillars boil down to our good work in three areas: Good Food, Good Work and Good Stewardship.
We continually set new goals and targets within each of these pillars to maintain our competitive edge, and to create value for our company and stakeholders across every part of our operations. We publicly report our progress annually in our sustainability impact report and recently marked 20 years of sustainability leadership with the release of our 20th Sustainability Impact Report in May 2022.
What improvements do you envision for your industry?
Smithfield’s vision is, with our culture of responsibility, operational excellence and innovation, to be a trusted food and protein company as we sustainably feed people around the world. I’m proud that our company is contributing to the sustainability of our industry and helping feed families everywhere with responsibly produced products.
What makes a good leader?
Collaboration is an important part of leadership, and I also believe being a good leader takes a passion to help others grow.
Smithfield Foods - Hometown roots. Global reach.
As Smithfield Foods is committed to helping feed a world of nearly 8 billion people. We are working harder than ever to provide families with wholesome, safe and affordable food with outstanding quality and value. We also are working hard to find innovative ways to accomplish that — through new products and processes, while being ever mindful of the impact our operations have on our planet. It’s our responsibility...and our promise. We're made in the USA and found on tables everywhere.
For more information, visit: smithfieldfoods.com