Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) on Monday said Chief Executive Officer Tom Hayes would leave the Company at the end of the month for personal reasons and named long-time insider Noel White as his replacement.
The change in leadership comes less than two years into Hayes’ tenure in which he has focused on revamping Tyson’s executive leadership team and repositioning the 83-year-old meat giant as a modern food Company marketing branded consumer products.
Mr. Hayes said in a press release it “is a very difficult decision to leave Tyson Foods, but after careful consideration and discussions with my family and the board, I know it is the right thing to do.”
The Company, based in Springdale, Ark., reiterated its guidance for the year and still expects adjusted earnings to be between USD 5.70 and USD 6 a share. Shares of Tyson, down 22% year to date, fell 2.8% premarket.
Tyson and other U.S. meat processors have struggled in recent months as domestic production of beef, chicken and pork rises to record levels, pushing down wholesale prices. Trade disputes have led to tariffs on U.S. meat products in top export markets like Mexico and China, while rising freight costs have driven up costs for food suppliers and other companies. Tyson, in late July, cut its profit forecast for the year, but praised the performance of its prepared foods business.
White, who joined Tyson following its acquisition of IBP in 2001, was most recently Tyson’s Chief Operations Officer. He will take over at the end of the month, the Company said.