Tyson Foods to trim corporate payroll with about 500 job cuts

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 4,025 views 

Tyson Foods is streamlining its corporate workforce and eliminating about 500 jobs across the company, mostly corporate office jobs located in Chicago and Arkansas.

The job cuts are part of the company’s efforts to strengthen its overall financial fitness that consolidates some of the functions across the growing enterprise.

Since the acquisition of Hillshire Brands in 2014, Tyson Foods has had a second large corporate office in Chicago where the majority of its marketing team is located. The company’s largest corporate offices are located in Springdale. Tyson Foods employs about 500 in the Chicago office and an estimated 2,000 in Springdale.

“We have an ongoing focus on financial fitness to make sure our business remains competitive. This means we’re continually reviewing our resources including staffing levels. We’ve recently reduced some roles and relocated others. It’s always difficult to eliminate and move jobs, and we’re doing this only after careful consideration,” Tyson Foods corporate spokesman Gary Mickelson told Talk Business & Politics in an email.

He said the affected jobs cover a variety of roles and most involve the corporate offices.

Tyson Foods made the restructuring public with a $44 million pretax charge related to the severance pay and other employee-related costs in a regulatory filing on Friday (Feb. 7) in conjunction with the company’s fiscal first-quarter results for 2020.

Tyson Foods CEO Noel White told Talk Business & Politics the company was on target to reach its $200 million cost savings for the fiscal year related to the company’s challenged chicken segment.

The financial fitness program was instituted by former CEO Tom Hayes in 2017. This program calls for Tyson Foods to reduce cost structures where possible by leveraging technology and implementing more automation and robotics throughout the company.

White said when he took over as CEO in late 2018, the company would continue to adhere to its financial fitness plan under his leadership.

Analysts say as Tyson Foods continues to grow through acquisitions, it remains important for the company to look for synergies and ways to keep operating costs manageable.

Despite the corporate streamlining, Tyson Foods said it will continue seeking strategic investment opportunities. Tyson’s capital expenditures are forecast at $1.3 billion this year, which is almost twice the rate of 2016 at $695 million. Most of the capital expenditures will go for production upgrades and expansion.

Tyson Foods is one of the largest employers in Northwest Arkansas and has added more than 300 technology jobs in the region in the past two years opening a new tech office and a robotics and automation center in downtown Springdale.