Tyson Foods makes numerous management changes with commercial sales team

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 3,058 views 

Tyson Foods continues to shift personnel and restructure its sales management teams with the latest round of changes announced Friday (Sept. 15) in an internal memo from Scott Rouse, chief customer officer for Tyson Foods.

Rouse said the changes to the commercial team were designed to elevate the company’s focus on growth channels, development and growth of talent and position Tyson Foods to “deliver sustainable results.” The memo, obtained by Talk Business & Politics, outlines a number of personnel changes with several management departures and promotions.

Tyson Foods declined comment on the changes when asked to do so on Monday.

Elmer Vasquez, vice president of chain restaurant customers for the past 25 years, will exit the company “to pursue other interests,” according to the memo. Donnie Ganoung, vice president of foodservice, non-commercial sales for Tyson Foods since 2011, is also leaving the company.

Jim Louder, director of retail operations for Tyson Foods and formerly Hillshire Brands, is also leaving the meat giant. Paul Davis, who has worked as vice president of customer development for Walmart Global at Tyson Foods for the past nine years, is also leaving, according to the memo. Davis has held several leadership role since joining Tyson Foods in 2007 from Procter & Gamble.

Curt Balara, vice president of small format and military sales, and John Morgan, who has been senior sales director at Tyson Foods for the past three years and Hillshire Brands prior to that, are also leaving the company. Balara was also formerly with Hillshire Brands and came to Tyson Foods in the acquisition three years ago.

Mark Rechtin, director total store analytics at Tyson Foods for the past nine years, is also leaving, according to the memo. Rechtin joined the company in 2004 and has held various management positions in the past 13 years.

The following individuals were promoted to new positions.
• Wendyjean Bennett, vice president Kroger, where she will lead Tyson’s Kroger team in Cincinnati.
• Gena Johnson Bumgarner, vice president of K-12 in schools
• Brandon Hurlbut, vice president commercial chain accounts (retail grocery)
• Bill Creighton, Sam’s Club team lead overseeing business to Club Channel
• Bill Bowen, grocery team lead focusing on Eastern division sales
• Mark Purvis, convenience and vending team lead
• Tiffany Carreker, will be joining grocery division from AdvancePierre Foods

Johnny Hughes will continue to lead Tyson’s foodservice team, His direct reports include Bumgarner, Hurlbut and Purvis as well as the following:
• Andy Lubert, vice president  of national accounts
• Dustin Jenkins, vice president distribution
• Greg Lancelot, vice president of McDonalds
• Shawn Hanley, vice president of Sysco

Tyson Foods said David Bray will continue to lead the company’s grocery division team with the following direct reports of Bennett, Bowen and Carreker in addition to the following:
• Bill Clani, vice president of grocery (wern region)
• Michael Kelley, vice president of deli
• Mike Shinstine, senior director customer development
• Dennis Jones, senior director customer development military
• Ashley Hovermale, small business operations

Jason Nichol will lead Tyson Foods’ sales team at Wal-Mart Stores and reporting directly to him includes:
• Jim Widmer, vice president fresh
• Steve Litaker, director strategy & operation
• Open Position, vice president packaged

Tyson Foods said Geordie Shaw will continue to lead the company’s business at Sam’s Club and the following sales managers will report to Shaw:
• John Conroy, director of sales development
• Loren Kern, director of Dollar and value
• Matt Wood Director of Costco
• Chris Dickmann Director of Van’s and drug
• Scott Mills, team leader at Bfs
• David Kalkowksi, team performance manager

Chris Witte will lead Tyson Foods’ total store leadership team with the following reports:
• Sue Toy, senior director category leadership
• Kathy Miller, director shopper insights
• Alicia Mostly, director shopping marketing
• Chris Browning, director shopper activation
• Jeremy Garner, senior manager merchandise and mix

Rouse said Brett Van de Bovenkamp will continue leading the company’s customer growth capabilities group with the following direct reports:
• Tim Madigan, vice president of eCommerce
• Chris Haller, vice president capabilities, planning and development
• Angie Christos, vice president sales, strategy and planning
• Cannon Koo, senior director revenue management
• Eric Birkhaug, managing director customer service

The changes to the sales management team at Tyson Foods come on the heels of a management shift which took place with the top level of executives last month. CEO Tom Hayes said at that time the shifts were a way to flatten the structure and hopefully better control costs while also satisfying customers.