Tyson Foods’ top execs see higher pay in 2021; board shrinks to 13

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 5,387 views 

Three of the top five earning executives at Tyson Foods received salary raises in 2021 largely because of increased duties. The company’s overall financial performance, against which executive salaries are benchmarked, was mixed with two quarters of positive gains offset by two quarters of lower net income.

Board Chairman John Tyson’s base pay of $1.212 million was down slightly from the prior year. Chief Financial Officer Stewart Glendinning also saw his base pay decrease from $817,269 to $787,000 in fiscal 2021. The information is from the annual proxy filed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Donnie King was promoted to CEO on June 2, with the abrupt exit of Dean Banks, who held the post for just seven months after having served as president for one year and a director for three years prior. King has held the CEO position for roughly four months of the company’s fiscal year. His contract calls for a base salary of $1.2 million, an increase from $850,000 he earned the year prior as chief operating officer.

King’s total compensation, which includes stock awards, options, incentive plan bonus pay and other non-cash compensation totaled $8.999 million for fiscal 2021. Banks earned $14.48 million for the year, which included base salary enhanced substantially with stock options and awards totaling $11 million. Banks’ non-compete clause runs through June 2023, according to the proxy.

Glendinning’s total compensation was more than $5.28 million last year, up 33.9% from the prior year with more stock and option awards as well as increased bonus incentive pay. John Tyson had total compensation of $13.741 million last year. That’s an increase of 22.4% from fiscal 2020. His pay bump came mostly from bonus incentive pay of $3.6 million.

Chris Langholz joined Tyson Foods in 2019 to lead the company’s international business. He is based in Singapore and oversees operations in Europe, Asia, Australia and U.S. export operations. As president of Tyson’s international division, Langholz had total compensation of $5.238 million. His base pay was higher, but total compensation decreased from the prior year because of $5 million paid in stock awards when he joined Tyson from Cargill.

Amy Tu, chief legal officer and general counsel, made the top five earners at Tyson Foods in fiscal 2021. She joined Tyson in 2017 from Boeing. Tu’s base salary was $683,154 last year, but her stock and option awards and bonus incentive pay pushed her total compensation to more than $4.73 million in fiscal 2021. Her fiscal 2020 earnings were not reported in the proxy.

Tyson’s proxy also outlined the annual shareholder meeting set for Feb. 10 at the Holiday Inn in Springdale. Shareholders will vote on a slate of 13 directors to serve one-year terms. Tyson has shrunk the board size from 15 directors to 13.

Banks was a director who left this year and two longtime board members are not standing for re-election. King was not a board member until recently appointed and Maria Claudia Borras was also appointed in fiscal 2021. The following list is of the 13 directors on the 2021 proxy ballet. According to the proxy, nine of the 13 directors are deemed independent with no financial relationship with Tyson Foods outside of their board seats.

John H. Tyson, chairman
Les Baledge
Mike Beebe
Maria Claudia Borras
David Bronczek
Mikel Durham
Donnie King, CEO
Jonathon Mariner
Kevin McNamara
Cheryl Miller
Jeffrey Schomburger
Barbara Tyson
Noel White, executive vice chairman