Perdue's son to be pitchman for chicken company

January 21, 1995|By a Sun Staff Writer

Frank Perdue, who built a chicken empire by hawking his chicken on television for the last 20 years, will let his son, James, do the crowing from now on.

In television advertisements scheduled to start airing next week, the elder Mr. Perdue says that although he's nearing retirement age -- he's 74 -- the company that bears his name won't be slacking off.

Instead, as the cameras follow him through office corridors, Mr. Perdue dons a white coat and opens the door to an egg storage room and introduces "a little project I've been working on for 45 years . . . the result of decades of intensive development."

"This could be my greatest achievement yet," he says as he introduces his son.

The younger Perdue, who joined the family company in 1983, has been running day-to-day operations as chairman of Perdue Farms Inc. for the last three years, but his father has served as the company's chief spokesman and salesman, ap

pearing in some 175 television ads in the last 20 years.

James Perdue originally didn't seem to have much interest in running the family business. He studied marine biology and received a doctorate from the University of Washington in Seattle.

But he's been anything but hesitant since taking over at the company. This month, he engineered the purchase of a local competitor, Showell Farms Inc.

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