Tyson Shuffles Management Titles, Cuts Three Execs

Feb. 15, 2017
Nine top managers get new titles under Tom Hayes while Donnie King, Sara Lilygren and Gary Cooper are shown the door.

There's been a house cleaning of sorts at Tyson Foods Inc., with the departure of three executives and the reorganization of nine execs with new titles, who will report to relatively new President/CEO Tom Hayes. It's all part of the continuing transformation of Tyson into a value-added/branded products company, which really moved into high gear with the 2014 acquisition of Hillshire Brands.

Leaving are Donnie King, president of North American operations; Sara Lilygren, executive vice president of corporate affairs; and Gary Cooper, chief information officer. "These departures will be effective over a period of months to allow sufficient time for a seamless transition," the company said.

The new senior leadership team consists of:

* Sally Grimes, President-North American Retail (she was president of international and chief global growth officer)
* Andy Callahan, President-North American Foodservice & International (he was president of packaged brands)
* Noel White, Chief Operations Officer (was president of poultry)
* Monica McGurk, Chief Growth Officer (was EVP of strategy and new ventures and president of foodservice)
* Dennis Leatherby, Chief Financial Officer (no change)
* Scott Rouse, Chief Customer Officer
* David Van Bebber, General Counsel (no change)
* Devin Graham [Interim], Chief Technology Officer
* Mary Oleksiuk, Chief Human Resources Officer (no change)

The post of chief sustainability officer remains open.

The moves come "after the most successful quarter in company history," the statement said, and less than three months after Hayes took over leadership of the company from Donnie Smith, who had been CEO since 2009. Hayes came up through the Sara Lee and Hillshire organizations.

"Tyson Foods’ new senior leadership team will increase focus on consumers, customers, technology and sustainability," said the announcement. "Clear priority and accountability in these four areas, coupled with a structure designed for collaboration and agile decision-making, position the company for continued success in a changing market."

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