WH Group CEO steps down but will remain on board

WH Group CEO steps down but will remain on board

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Company makes several changes to its management team

Wan Long has resigned as CEO of WH Group, but will remain an executive director and chairman of the board, the company said on August 12. It also made several other changes to its management team.

The company said it has appointed Guo Lijun as CEO. He will vacate his position as chief financial officer and will be replaced by Yan Kam Yin. Wan Hongwei has been named executive director and deputy chairman of the board and member of the Environmental, Social and Governance Committee and the Food Safety Committee. Zhou Feng has been appointed as the vice president of the company in charge of international trade and Wang Dengfeng has been appointed as the vice president of the company in charge of operations management. All the appointments were effective August 12.

“The newly appointed management of WH Group have rich industry experience, diligent and dedicated management style as well as excellent historical performance,” Long said. “I believe that the strengthened management team will embrace the management culture of WH Group, promote digitization by adopting new technologies, take the company’s management and governance to the next level, joining hands to implement our strategic plan, lead the company to achieve steady development, and create higher value for the society, shareholders and other stakeholders.”

These management changes come two months after the board of directors removed Wan Hongjian as an executive director and vice president on grounds of embezzlement of company property.

At the time, WH Group said Wan, the son of Long, “is unable to fulfil his duties of skill, care and diligence as a director due to his recent misconduct of aggressive behaviors against the company’s properties.” His positions as executive director; deputy chairman of the board; a member of the Environmental, Social and Governance Committee and Food Safety Committee; and vice president have been vacated.

According to WATTPoultry.com’s Top Companies database, WH Group is one of the largest meat processors in China. While the bulk of WH Group’s operations focus on pork production, the company also raises and processes about 700,000 metric tons of chicken per year. WH Group subsidiary Smithfield Foods also owns the poultry producer Animex, Poland’s biggest producer of pork, poultry and processed meat products. That company exports to 40 countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa.

According to Feed Strategy’s Top Companies database, WH Group produced 5.8 million metric tons of animal feed in 2020, ranking it the world’s 18th largest feed producer.