Tyson To Promote Banks, Former Google and Healthcare Exec, to CEO

Aug. 3, 2020
Dean Banks, president since last November, will succeed Noel White effective Oct. 3.

Part a nod to automation and part to worker safety, Tyson Foods will promote a former executive at Google and health care companies to be its next CEO.

Dean Banks – a Tyson director since 2017 and president just since last November – will succeed Noel White as CEO effective Oct. 3. Banks retains the title president and White will remain with Tyson in a new role as executive vice chairman.

Prior to joining Tyson, Banks was a project lead and on the Leadership Team at X (formerly Google [x]), an Alphabet Inc. company, where he remains an advisor. Previously, he was managing partner of SEED Ventures, a group investing in early-stage healthcare technologies. Still earlier, he was immersed in health care-related companies. He has a Harvard MBA.

“It’s clear to the board that Dean’s impressive background in entrepreneurship, technology and the healthcare industry make him ideally suited to lead Tyson in its efforts to integrate advanced technologies into our operations and further our focus on team member health and safety,” said Chairman John Tyson.

The company acknowledged White "led Tyson through a period of unprecedented volatility and uncertainty when he assumed the CEO role in 2018" – that was after the sudden departure of Tom Hayes (who just landed at Ocean Spray). And John Tyson noted Banks' appointment "is part of the board’s deliberate, long-term succession planning."

In a separate, financial announcement, Tyson reported it spent $340 million in its third quarter (ended June 27) due to the coronavirus and said costs are expected to increase for the remainder of 2020 and into the 2021 fiscal year. Sales for the third quarter were down nearly 11%, but dropped only 1% for the nine months. Operating profit held up.

Banks' resume includes leadership and consulting roles with IntraCelluar Technologies, now Vergent Bioscience where he remains a board member; Cleveland Clinic Innovations and the Ohio Orthopedic Commercialization Center; OrthoHelix (acquired by Tornier Inc.); Connective Orthopaedics; Highland Capital Partners, Cytyc Corporation (acquired by Hologic), and Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a Johnson & Johnson company. He was a former sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps and has a BA from Miami University.

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