SMITHFIELD, VA. – Smithfield Foods announced the appointment of Isham “Jay” Bennett as its chief human resources officer and the promotion of Tennille Checkovich to general counsel.

In the newly created role, Bennett will report to Shane Smith, president and chief executive officer, and will be tasked with the development and execution of Smithfield’s HR strategy that reflects its commitment to employees. He will also oversee Smithfield’s DEI programs and lead its recruitment, retention and training efforts. He Joins Smithfield after working in similar HR leadership roles at Lockheed Martin Corp. and previously as vice president of HR with Rolls-Royce plc.

Checkovich joined Smithfield in 2020, most recently serving as its deputy general counsel for litigation. In her new role she will report to Mike Flemming, chief legal officer. She will manage all of the company’s litigation, including oversight of risk mitigation of regulatory and compliance efforts as well as assisting with the management of the legal team. Prior to 2020, Checkovich worked as an equity partner at McGuireWoods LLP in the business and securities department.  

“I’m excited to welcome Jay and Tennille to their new roles,” said Smith. “Jay’s human resources leadership in the manufacturing industry is unparalleled, and Tennille’s continued work to elevate Smithfield’s culture of legal and regulatory compliance has been exemplary. I look forward to their contributions to enhancing Smithfield’s high-performance culture and legal and regulatory compliance aligned with our business strategy.”