Tyson Foods taps board member Dean Banks as new company president

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 889 views 

Tyson Foods announced the addition of Dean Banks to the company’s C-suite. Banks, 46, will become president of Tyson Foods effective Dec. 20 and report to CEO Noel White, 61, who is acting president in addition to his role as CEO.

Banks will oversee the Springdale-based meat giant’s business segments and retain his board seat as a non-independent director and be based in Springdale. Banks is joining Tyson Foods from Alphabet X, the parent company of Google, where he has worked since 2016. He has been a director at Tyson Foods for the past two years and during that time developed a relationship with the Tyson family and an understanding of the company’s complex business.

Board Chairman John Tyson said Banks is a cultural fit with the company founded by his grandfather more than 80 years ago. He said as the board reflected on its talent pipeline, it became apparent Banks’ background and leadership experience in technology and innovation would benefit the company.

“Dean brings a unique skillset and broad experience – including serving as a Marine, an entrepreneur, a start‐up investor, and a technologist – that will augment our next generation of leadership as it shapes the future of our company,” Tyson added.

White, who took over as CEO in September 2018, said this is an unprecedented time in the protein industry and the company remains focused on capitalizing on its diversified business model and innovation strategy to propel its growth.

“As we increasingly integrate advanced technologies into our operations, we’re pleased to add a leader of Dean’s caliber to our leadership team. From his service on the Tyson Foods board, Dean has developed a keen understanding of our business to go with his deep knowledge of the technologies and innovations that can help unlock opportunities now and in the future. I look forward to working closely with Dean as we drive Tyson Foods’ global growth in the future,” White said.

Tyson Foods incoming President Dean Banks

During his tenure at the research arm of Alphabet, Banks has been a project leader. Banks has served on the governance and nominating committees of the Tyson Board and the strategy and acquisitions committee. Before joining Google/Alphabet he worked as a managing partner for SEED Ventures, a group investing in and developing early-stage healthcare technologies. He also has served as a consultant to Cleveland Clinic Innovations, CEO of Occelerator, executive of Business Development and Strategic Marketing at OrthoHelix, co‐founder and CEO of Connective Orthopedics, and vice president at Highland Capital Partners.

Banks holds a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in marketing and public relations from the University of Miami. He also served as a platoon sergeant and squad leader in the U.S. Marine Corps.

“In the two years that I have had the privilege of serving on the Tyson Foods board, I have been impressed with the company’s forward‐thinking leadership and the ability of such a venerable institution to adapt and thrive as a modern food company. I have had the opportunity to work with many cutting‐edge, innovative companies during my career, and I look forward to bringing my skills and experience to Tyson Foods on a full‐time basis. I am honored to join Noel and his team as we continue to take bold actions to drive growth for the company now and into the future, and I look forward to returning to the heartland when my family and I relocate to Springdale in the near future,” Banks said.

His salary and contract information have not yet been made public.

Tyson Foods shares (NYSE: TSN) closed Wednesday (Nov. 6) at $83.48, up $1.54. The announcement was made after the market closed.

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