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Tyson Foods Announces CEO's Resignation, Names Successor

- By Sydnee Gatewood

Shares of U.S. meat processor Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) fell on Monday morning after the company announced that CEO Tom Hayes is stepping down.

Hayes, who is leaving the Springdale, Arkansas-based consumer packaged goods company for personal reasons, will be succeeded by Noel White, a member of Tyson Foods' enterprise leadership team and former group president of its Beef, Pork and International business. The transition will be effective Sept. 30.

According to ArkansasBusiness.com, after stepping into the leadership role on Dec. 31, 2016, Hayes spearheaded a reorganization of the company's management structure and drafted a plan to emphasize Tyson Foods as a "leader in sustainable protein production."

As part of this initiative, the company acquired AdvancePierre Foods Holding Inc. and Original Philly Holdings in 2017 and entered a $2.16 billion deal to buy Keystone Foods from Brazil's Marfrig Global Foods SA (BSP:MRFG3) in August.

In a statement, Chairman John Tyson thanked Hayes for his leadership.

"Tom has accelerated the strategic transformation of Tyson Foods' product portfolio and played an important role in the company's continuing development," he said. "The board and I thank him for his many contributions to the success of Tyson Foods and wish him well."

Hayes said that while making the decision to leave was difficult, it is "the right thing to do."

"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."

According to Tyson Foods, White has over 30 years of experience in the food industry. He worked for IBP Inc. for nearly two decades before the company was acquired by Tyson in 2001 and has held a number of roles throughout his career, including chief operations officer.

"I am honored to serve as Tyson Foods' next CEO, and I am excited by the many opportunities that lie ahead," White said. "It has been a privilege to contribute to this company's evolution over the course of many years and to be a part of its becoming one of the world's largest food companies. I look forward to accelerating the current trajectory of growth as a global modern food company through our operational excellence, innovative thinking and focus to sustainably feed the world."

The company also reaffirmed its fiscal 2018 adjusted earnings per share guidance of $5.70 to$6, which was originally announced on July 30.

With a market cap of $23.14 billion, shares of Tyson Foods were down approximately 0.28% on Monday morning at $63.22. GuruFocus estimates the stock has tumbled 22% year to date.


Disclosure: No positions.

This article first appeared on GuruFocus.