Foster Farms President and CEO Ron Foster announced  yesterday that he plans to step down from his current position, according to The Fresno Bee Foster will continue on in his role as owner and board member and will remain as president and CEO until the company completes the search for his successor.

“I have greatly enjoyed the past 11 years as your CEO,” Foster said in a letter to employees. “During this period, we have witnessed some of the most challenging and some of the most rewarding times in our company’s history. I am confident that Foster Farms is positioned to do great things.”

Foster Farms was founded by Ron Foster’s grandparents 75 years ago. Max and Verda Foster founded Foster Farms at a ranch west of Waterford, California in 1939. Two years later, they started Foster Farms Dairy, now known as Crystal Creamery but still under family ownership. Ron Foster was its president before moving to the poultry business in 2003.

During Ron Foster’s 11-year tenure in his current position, overseeing 10,000 employees, the business grew 70 percent and became the top-rated poultry brand in the Western United States. He also oversaw rigorous  measure over the past year and a half to contain a salmonella outbreak in the company’s plants in Livingston and Fresno and to reduce future risk.

Foster Farms produces hundreds of chicken and turkey items, from whole raw birds to deli meats, breaded strips and corn dogs. The company said more fresh and prepared products will be launched in 2015 as part of a five-year growth plan.

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