Name: Michael Koenig
New title: Global Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Previous title: Head of Ethics and Compliance for Pilgrim’s Pride
JBS has named Koenig as its new Global Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, it said in a statement. He previously served in a similar role for chicken producer Pilgrim’s Pride, which is part of JBS, since August 2021.
For more than 25 years, Koenig was a defense attorney in private practice representing companies, executives and public officials in criminal, civil and regulatory investigations and trials. He also served as a federal prosecutor for the Department of Justice.
The Brazilian meat giant also announced that it had formed a new Global Executive Compliance Committee in June to “create a more uniform and consistent compliance program across all JBS entities, including Pilgrim’s.”
The appointment of Koenig and the new compliance committee come amid a years-long series of antitrust investigations and settlements regarding price-fixing in the meat industry.
JBS agreed to pay $52.5 million to grocers and wholesalers in a class action price-fixing suit in February this year. Last month, three former Pilgrim’s executives were found not guilty after an unprecedented third trial from the government, which sought to charge them for artificially inflating prices and sharing pricing information with other producers. And in early 2021, Pilgrim’s Pride paid a $108 million fine after pleading guilty to conspiring to fix the price of chicken and pass those costs onto consumers.
JBS is currently being sued by wholesale food giant Sysco, who accused the company, along with the three other large U.S. beef processors, of conspiring to “artificially constrain the supply of beef entering the domestic supply chain” and driving up costs.