SPRINGDALE, ARK. — Noel White will take over the leadership role of Tyson Foods, Inc. on Sept. 30 as president and chief executive officer. He will replace Tom Hayes, who, the company said, is stepping down for personal reasons.
Prior to his new appointment, Mr. White had been group president of the company’s Beef, Pork and International business units. Mr. White has been with Tyson Foods since its acquisition of IBP inc. in 2001.
“Noel is a proven leader who has played an integral role in our enterprise leadership team for many years,” said John Tyson, chairman of the board. “He has run our beef, pork, and poultry businesses and is now helping Tyson Foods capitalize on international opportunities. His deep institutional knowledge and a stellar track record over his more than 30-year career at Tyson Foods and a predecessor company give the board the utmost confidence in his ability to drive the business forward, accelerate global growth and create long-term value for shareholders.”
Mr. Hayes took the helm of Tyson Foods on Dec. 31, 2016. He came to the company following its acquisition of Hillshire Brands in 2014. He has led the company through numerous acquisitions, including, most recently, Keystone Foods. Tyson Foods entered into an agreement to acquire Keystone from Marfrig Global Foods for $2.16 billion.
“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,” Mr. Hayes said. “I am appreciative of support from my family and the board for my decision and am confident that Tyson Foods has a bright future with Noel White, along with our enterprise leadership team, as its leader.”
The company also reaffirmed its adjusted earnings per share guidance for fiscal 2018 of $5.70 to $6.