Cobb-Vantress appoints Joyce Lee new president

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 960 views 

Siloam Springs-based broiler breeder Cobb-Vantress Inc. announced Monday (Jan. 3) that Joyce Lee has been named its new president.

Lee joins Cobb after serving as executive vice president and president of the $1.5 billion U.S. pet health and commercial operations portfolio for Indiana-based Elanco Animal Health Inc.

In 2020, Stan Reid was named interim president of Cobb after former president Joel Sappenfield became president of Simmons Prepared Foods, a company of Siloam Springs-based poultry producer Simmons Foods. Reid will remain with Cobb.

“I entered the poultry industry exactly 15 years ago and am excited about returning to an industry full of passionate people with a common mission,” Lee said. “As the foundation of the poultry supply chain, Cobb plays a critical role in helping feed the world with healthy, sustainable and affordable chicken. I’m honored to be a part of the industry that makes a significant difference in our society.”

Lee joined Elanco through its acquisition of Bayer Animal Health in 2020. At Bayer Animal Health, she was the president of the North America segment when its commercial operations surpassed more than $750 million in sales, and e-commerce grew by 80%.

She also worked for more than 16 years at Zoetis, formerly known as Pfizer Animal Health, in roles such as executive vice president and area president of Canada and Latin America. She helped Zoetis manage its initial public offering (IPO) and spin-off from Pfizer in 2013. At Pfizer, Lee led cross-functional, globally matrixed and multicultural teams in more than 30 countries as vice president of global poultry health for the company’s animal health division and separate human health firm acquired by the company.

Joyce Lee

Lee will report to David Bray, group president of poultry for Springdale-based meat producer Tyson Foods. The company acquired Cobb in 1994.

“We’re incredibly pleased to welcome Joyce to the Cobb team,” Bray said. “She’s an experienced leader who cares deeply about the health of the animals and delivering for our customers. Based on her proven track record of innovation, we’re confident she will drive Cobb and the entire industry forward.”

Bray also thanked Reid for his commitment and dedication as interim president for Cobb.

“We appreciate his leadership during these critical times,” Bray said. “Cobb has a storied history, and we look forward to seeing Joyce lead this team into the next chapter.”

In 2018, Lee received the Feather in Her Cap Award and was named one of the 250 most influential people in Kansas City by Ingram’s Magazine in 2018 and 2019.

Lee is on the board of directors at Balchem Corp., a global leader in chlorine production, nutrient encapsulation, chelated minerals and functional ingredients for animal nutrition and health. She also is on the board of directors at Grand Street Settlement, a community-building nonprofit organization based in New York City.

Lee grew up in Houston and received a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and a master’s degree in business administration from Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Fla.