As shattered retrenched workers met with Federal government support officers on the tiny Tasmanian island this week, the world's largest meat processor announced its Australian CEO Andre Nogueira would be returning to the company's North American headquarters to head up its US operations.
With a background in corporate financial banking, Mr Nogueira joined as JBS Australia's head in February before promptly shutting three sites in its southern division - an abattoir at Yarrawonga in northern Victoria, a feedlot at Yambinya in southern NSW and now the King Island facility.
In April, JBS Australia shut its Prime City feedlot at Tabbita near Griffith, NSW, which had 63 employees and downsized its nearby Riverina Beef at Yanco, which employed 95 people. Mr Nogueira's replacement has been announced as Brent Eastwood, who has been head of the company's northern division since February.
The promotions within the company come as families on King Island contemplate an uncertain future.
Federal Member for Braddon Sid Sidebottom said the closure of the plant would have a significant impact on workers and their families.
"There are limited employment opportunities on King Island so we want to make sure workers know the Federal Government is here to support them," Mr Sidebottom said. "Our priority is to help those affected get back into work as soon as possible and support them while they look for another job."