He succeeds Janet McCollum, who has led the business since 2014.
Kirke brings more than 26 years of food industry experience, operational expertise, and a strong track record of customer engagement and business transformation in the UK and the US to Moy Park.
He most recently led the US division of Greencore Group and, under his leadership, it grew revenues from $300 million to $1.6 billion through a mix of organic growth and acquisitions, transforming the business into a highly profitable industry leader.
“The Pilgrim’s team is excited to have Chris join us on our journey to realise our vision of becoming the best and most respected company in our industry,” said Bill Lovette, president and CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride. “His proven track record of delivering results for customers, and driving profitability in the UK and the US, will uniquely position the Pilgrim’s European business platform for its next chapter of accelerated growth and innovation.
“Janet was instrumental in establishing Moy Park as an unquestioned leader in the food industry in the UK,” he added. “She has accomplished a lot and we are grateful for her more than 25 years of dedicated service and commitment to Moy Park. As she hands the reins over to Chris, I want to wish Janet the very best in her next endeavour.”
Pilgrim’s Pride also announced the appointment of Flavio Malnarcic, former executive business director at Moy Park, as CFO. Malnarcic has more than 30 years of financial experience, including positions with Cargill and Tyson Foods.