June 14 (Reuters) - U.S. poultry company Pilgrim’s Pride Corp announced on Sunday its President and Chief Executive Officer Jayson Penn has begun a paid leave of absence to focus on his defense of the indictment against him over alleged U.S. chicken price-fixing.
Penn was indicted along with three other current and former industry executives on charges of seeking to fix the price of chickens, the U.S. Justice Department said on June 3.
“The board takes the recent allegations very seriously and believes it is in the best interests of both Jayson and the company that he is given the opportunity to focus on his legal defense during this time,” Chairman Gilberto Tomazoni said in a statement.
The company has appointed Chief Financial Officer Fabio Sandrias as the interim CEO, it said. (Reporting by Anurag Maan and Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)