Wayne Farms announced J. Clinton Rivers becomes its CEO effective April 1, replacing Elton Maddox who led the company as CEO for 21 years and will now assume the role of executive chairman and continue to serve as chairman of the Wayne Farms board of managers.
The transition is part of a planned succession that began with Rivers’ promotion to chief operating officer in April 2014.
Maddox joined Wayne Farms as a complex engineer in April 1974. During his tenure, he built an executive management team to lead a corporate culture that focused on integrity, profitability and continuous improvement in safety, quality and production.
Rivers joined Wayne Farms as vice president and general manager of the Fresh Business Unit in October 2012. Over the last four years, he led the acquisition of Wayne Farms’ Dothan facility from Perdue Farms then oversaw a major expansion of that facility which allowed the company to expand its small bird program.
Rivers led the development of Wayne Farms’ line of chicken that never is administered antibiotics and managed the construction of the company’s new South Alabama feed mill, the largest new feed mill in the industry. Rivers has 36 years of poultry industry experience serving in operational and leadership roles in multiple companies. He spent 21 years with Pilgrim’s Pride, becoming chief operating officer in 2004 and chief executive officer in March 2008.
Prior to joining Wayne Farms in 2012, he served as president, Foodservice and Supply Chain for Perdue.
As part of the leadership transition, a search is currently underway for a vice president and general manager of the Fresh Business Unit who will report to Rivers.
About Wayne Farms
Wayne Farms is the sixth-largest vertically integrated poultry producer in the United States with annual sales exceeding $1.9 billion. A subsidiary of Continental Grain Company, Wayne Farms owns and operates 11 fresh and prepared foods facilities throughout the Southeast, produces more than 2.6 billion pounds of poultry products each year, and employs more than 8,900 individuals.
Products are produced under the brand names of WAYNE FARMS fresh and prepared chicken; PLATINUM HARVEST premium fresh chicken; and CHEF’S CRAFT gourmet chicken.