Tyson Foods Inc. Continues Evolution

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 605 views 

Tyson Foods Inc. president Tom Hayes, who was promoted in June from chief commercial officer, said the Springdale-based company will not hire a replacement for his former position.

“We will shift from having a chief commercial officer to having leaders aligned to focused functions,” Hayes wrote in an internal memo obtained by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal.

The changes outlined by Hayes indicate a growing presence of Hillshire Brands executives in the upper levels of the company’s sales division. Tyson Foods acquired Hillshire in Sept. 2014 for $8.5 billion, and has kept open Hillshire’s former Chicago headquarters.

Hayes served as chief supply chain officer for Hillshire, responsible for operations including procurement, manufacturing, food safety and quality, engineering, and logistics. His first job title with Tyson Foods following the merger was president of foodservice.

Brett Van de Bovenkamp (senior vice president, customer growth capabilities) and Christopher Witte (vice president, shopper and category development) both now report to Sally Grimes, the company’s chief global growth officer and president of international business.

All three joined Tyson Foods as a result of the Hillshire acquisition two years ago, and are based in Chicago.

Bill Mayer, a longtime Tyson Foods executive and vice president of business development, has been promoted to senior vice president, international and reports to Grimes. He’ll focus specifically on markets in China, India and the Middle East. He will remain in Northwest Arkansas.

Monica McGurk, hired away from The Coca-Cola Co. earlier this year to be the company’s senior vice president for strategy and new ventures, has been promoted to executive vice president for strategy and new ventures, and has added an additional title — president of foodservice.

Kristin Bird, vice president of foodservice channel development, has been promoted to senior vice president of foodservice and will oversee the entire foodservice channel, reporting to McGurk.

Bird will relocate from Chicago to Northwest Arkansas in the coming months.

Scott Rouse, Tyson Food’s chief customer officer, now reports to Hayes and oversees all North American retail and foodservice sales.

Johnny Hughes, previously senior vice president and general manager of the McDonald’s Corp. account, now reports to Rouse as senior vice president, foodservice sales.

Greg Lancelot will take over the McDonald’s business and report to Hughes.

Hayes also said that Don Davis, a senior vice president of sales, will leave the company at the end of the fiscal year that ends on Oct. 1. Davis was previously president of foodservice at Sara Lee before joining Tyson Foods as a result of the Hillshire acquisition.

Davis will spend the next few months helping with the transition, Hayes said.

Tyson Foods’ shares were trading Wednesday morning at $72.65 on the Nasdaq, up 0.49 cents, or 0.68 percent. Shares have traded between $39.05 and $73.78 in the past year.