Meat Supplier JBS Hires P&G's Farahat to Build Brands Abroad

  • Will handle Swift, Pilgrim's brands in U.S., Seara in Brazil
  • Foods unit's CEO Tomazoni will oversee global operations

JBS SA hired a senior executive from Procter & Gamble Co. as the world’s largest meat producer tries to build its brands beyond Brazil.

Tarek Farahat, 51, a former president of P&G for Latin America, will take over as global president of JBS’s recently announced Marketing & Innovation Management Team, the meatpacker said in a statement Monday. Farahat, a member of JBS’s board since June 2013, will be responsible for positioning JBS brands including Swift and Pilgrim’s in the U.S. and Seara in Brazil.

JBS Chief Executive Officer Wesley Batista said in May the company is seeking to diversify into segments such as packaged and branded food products. In the first half of 2015, JBS has become one of the 17 top media advertisers in Brazil through newspaper and television ad campaigns, beating competitors such as BRF SA and Nestle SA, according to polling company Ibope Media.

Born in Egypt, the executive has worked for 26 years at P&G in different regions including the Middle East and Europe. Farahat was also president of P&G in Brazil. “He has an impeccable track record of building brands around the world, including in Brazil,” Batista said in the statement.

JBS, which has announced almost $20 billion in acquisitions over the past decade, made a $6.7 billion offer for Jimmy Dean sausage maker Hillshire Brands Co. last year in a bidding war won by rival Tyson Foods Inc.

JBS also said Gilberto Tomazoni, the chairman of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. and CEO of JBS Foods, Brazil’s chicken and processed-food unit, will now oversee the company’s global operations. Farahat and Tomazoni will report directly to Wesley Batista.

JBS fell 2 percent to 16.66 reais at 2:45 p.m. in Sao Paulo while Brazil’s benchmark Ibovespa index rose 0.6 percent.