Former House Speaker John Boehner, former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt and two former corporate officials have agreed to serve on a new independent advisory board for JBS USA.
Serving with Boehner and Pitt are Greg Heckman, former president and chief executive officer of The Gavilon Group; and Dimitri Panayotopoulos, Procter & Gamble’s former vice chairman.
The new independent advisory board will help the company’s leadership with issues involving corporate governance, government, and regulatory affairs, commodity risk management and marketing.
It is the second time in as many months that the Northern Colorado-based JBS USA has turned to outsiders to guide its future. Early in August, the company named Alfred “Al” Almanza, who retired July 31 as USDA’s top food safety official, as global head of food safety and quality assurance for JBS.
In his new role, Almanza is part of the JBS global leadership team, reporting directly to JBS global president of operations Gilberto Tomazoni. He’s leading JBS food safety worldwide.
The new Advisory Board will meet quarterly and provide ongoing counsel Andre Nogueira, JBS USA’s chief executive, and his executive leadership team for North America, Australia and New Zealand.
The members include:
Boehner – Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015, since leaving his public office, he’s been serving on boards of directors for Arizona Mining and Reynolds American. He also a strategic advisor to the lobbying firm of Squire Patton Boggs.
Pitt – 26th Chairman of SEC, from 2001 to 2003. Pitt is currently an officer for the global consulting firm of Kalorama Partners LLC, and its law firm affiliate Kalorama Legal Services PLLC. He was a corporate attorney before being named to the SEC.
Panayotopouios – Senior advisor to the Boston Consulting Group, a global management company. Retired from Proctor & Gamble in 2014 as head of global business units.
Heckman – His past corporate experience includes serving as the chief operating officer for ConAgra Foods Commercial Products and president and CEO of the ConAgra Trade Group, where he spent 24 years.
“We are honored that such a high caliber group of leaders has agreed to serve as inaugural members of the JBS USA Advisory Board,” said Nogueira. “We look forward to the contributions of the Advisory Board members in advancing our plans for success and growth while preserving our unwavering commitment to governance, quality, and outstanding customer service.”
JBS USA is trying to work its way out from under the bribery scandal involving its São Paulo, Brazil-based parent company, JBS S.A. The scandal forced Joesley Batista out as JBS S.A.’s board chairman and required signing of expensive “leniency” agreements with the government to avoid prosecution.
Brother Wesley Batista, however, remains as global CEO. A bank investment group wants him removed while the JBS S.A. Board of Directors has voted to keep him. A shareholders meeting on Friday could decide if the CEO remains in office.
JBS S.A. also still awaits approval of its leniency agreement. Once completed, it will have to continue to collaborate with the independent investigation and implement a compliance program.
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