From Farm Boy to COO of OSI – The Story of David McDonald

In the early 20th century in Chicago, a German migrant worker by the name of Otto Kolschowsky established a butcher shop then known as Otto and Sons. Today, that ‘butcher shop’ is known as OSI Food Solutions with an estimated net worth of 6.1 billion ranking at 58 on Forbes 2016 list of largest private companies in the United States of America. Somewhere in the late 1970s to the early 1980s, a fresh graduate from Iowa State University, David McDonald, was hired as an intern to Sheldon Lavin (the company’s present-day CEO). David McDonald had earned himself a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University (ISU) along with grabbing a Wallace E. Barron Outstanding Senior Award during his time there.

David McDonald had nothing if not humble beginnings – he was raised as a country lad on his family’s farm in the northeast of Iowa. Today, that country boy is the Chief Operations Operator (COO) of one of the largest privately owned companies in the United States. Currently, the company has over 20,000 employees working at its 65 facilities spanned over in nearly 17 countries. McDonald’s most valuable contributions to the company include its expansion into China, its acquisition of Baho Foods and the acquisition of Flagship Europe. To know more click here.

Following China’s induction into the World Trade Organization (WTO), David McDonald realized the need to expand into the country which established itself as having numerous profits to business. While the company had already been established in China, however, with this induction, McDonald was able to play his card right regarding the Chinese bureaucracy. He remarked that since OSI is a private establishment, it’s more flexible when it comes to making long-term investments and strategies. Furthermore, in 2016, OSI acquired Baho Foods as well as Flagship Europe. Under McDonald’s term as COO, the company also acquired the rights to Tyson Foods located in Chicago and took over their distribution and manufacturing unit. Then, in 2018, OSI International Foods merged with Turi Foods (a poultry processing company in Australia) for the creation of Turosi Pvt Limited.

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