PITTSBURG, Texas (AP) -- Pilgrim's Pride Corp., which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, said Monday it plans to have Clint Rivers, who recently resigned as president and chief executive, consult for the company for four months.
Rivers resigned from his post at the nation's largest chicken producer a week ago. The company, saddled by debt and hurt by volatile commodity costs, filed for bankruptcy protection on Dec. 1.
The company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday that Rivers will receive a severance payment of $143,242. Robert A. Wright, who resigned as chief operating officer the same day as Rivers, will receive the same severance payment.
Additionally, the company said it plans to have Rivers and Wright consult for the company on an as-requested basis. Rivers will be paid a fee of $83,500 a month for a term of four months, while Wright will be paid $50,000 a month for a three-month term.
The consulting agreements are subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Rivers is being succeeded by Don Jackson, an appointment that is also subject to court approval. The company said in announcing Jackson's appointment that he would join it immediately on an interim basis. Jackson, who had been president of Foster Farms' poultry division, a poultry producer on the West Coast, will also assume Wright's duties.
The company has been struggling, along with other meat makers, due to high costs for animal feed, which is made with corn and soybeans. There's also an oversupply of meat on the market and weak demand, especially from restaurants as consumers cut back on their spending. Both factors limit pricing and hurt margins.
Pilgrim's Pride is also hurt because of its large debt load connected to its $1.3 billion acquisition of rival Gold Kist Inc. in 2007.