Tyson Foods Promotes Tom Hayes to President

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Tyson Foods Inc. promoted Tom Hayes to president of the company, according to a news release sent June 13.

Donnie Smith, formerly the president and chief executive officer, will continue as the CEO.

Hayes, who will be based in Springdale, was previously the company’s chief commercial officer, responsible for all North American sales. He joined Tyson Foods as a result of its acquisition of The Hillshire Brands Co. in 2014. His first job title with Tyson Foods following the merger was president of food service.

In his new role, Hayes will lead the company’s transition “reflecting the company’s strategic focus on its hybrid model of branded prepared foods and fresh meats.”

In a statement, Smith said, “Tom Hayes is an exceptional leader who’s played a key role in creating a united company and in our continued development of our branded products.  He has a distinguished track record of strategic, operational and commercial accomplishments, and I am pleased to have an opportunity to work closely with him as we continue to leverage our scale and nine core brands to drive industry-leading growth in attractive market segments.”

Hayes served as chief supply chain officer for Hillshire Brands, responsible for operations including procurement, manufacturing, food safety and quality, engineering, and logistics.

He has served on the board of directors for the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA). He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of New Hampshire and a MBA degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

John Tyson, chairman of the board of directors, said in a statement that succession planning is the board’s responsibility as the company enters its next phase of growth.

We are focused on leaders with the right skills to help Tyson Foods capitalize on favorable market trends in the U.S. and abroad, continue improving our portfolio mix and margins, and drive innovation in our expanding range of branded products,” he said.