Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale on Monday said its board of directors has promoted Tom Hayes to president.
Donnie Smith has been president and CEO of the publicly traded meat processor. Hayes, formerly chief commercial officer, will now work directly with Smith, who will continue as CEO, the company said.
Before working as chief commercial officer, Hayes was president of food service at Tyson Foods. He also served as chief supply chain officer for Hillshire Brands Co., responsible for operations including procurement, manufacturing, food safety and quality, engineering and logistics.
Tyson Foods acqured Hillshire in 2014.
"Under Donnie Smith's leadership, Tyson Foods has delivered excellent results for shareholders and experienced significant growth," John Tyson, chairman of the board of directors, said in a news release.
"As we look toward the future of our business and its next phase of growth, succession planning is the board's responsibility," he continued. "We are focused on leaders with the right skills to help Tyson Foods capitalize on favorable market trends in the U.S. and abroad, continue improving our portfolio mix and margins, and drive innovation in our expanding range of branded products."
In his new role, Hayes will lead Tyson Foods' transition reflecting the company's strategic focus on its hybrid model of branded prepared foods and fresh meats. Hayes will be based in Springdale.
"Tom Hayes is an exceptional leader who's played a key role in creating a united company and in our continued development of our branded products," Smith said. "He has a distinguished track record of strategic, operational and commercial accomplishments, and I am pleased to have an opportunity to work closely with him as we continue to leverage our scale and nine core brands to drive industry-leading growth in attractive market segments."
Hayes has served on the board of directors of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association and the executive committee of the board of directors of the North American Meat Institute. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of New Hampshire and a master of business administration degree from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
"I am honored to serve as president of Tyson Foods," Hayes said. "I appreciate the confidence the board has placed in me and look forward to working closely with Donnie and the board to help our company become a global leader in protein-centric branded foods."