Tyson Foods CEO Tom Hayes leaves at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After less than two years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Hayes
  • Noel White taking over
  • Hayes said 67 words

(exechange) — Springdale, Arkansas, September 17, 2018 — Tom Hayes, chief executive of Tyson Foods, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Tyson Foods, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, September 17, 2018, Thomas P. (Tom) Hayes leaves his post as chief executive officer at the meat company after less than two years in the role, effective September 30, 2018.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first years.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months was 9.1 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 11 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within two years, and 20 percent left the position within three years.

Hayes’s duties will be taken over by Noel White, currently member of the enterprise leadership team of Tyson Foods, Inc.

“For personal reasons”

Hayes’s imminent departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Tyson Foods said: “White, who will also join the board of directors, will succeed Tom Hayes, who is stepping down for personal reasons.”

In the announcement, the company did not detail the personal reasons causing Hayes to leave the position, leaving room for speculation. Generally speaking, “personal reasons” may include, among others, family-related reasons, health reasons or disagreement.

Precise information about Hayes’s future plans was not immediately available.

Wake-up call

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CEO leaves the post at short notice and without comprehensible reasons being given.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Tyson Foods, Inc. since December 2017.

Chaired by John Tyson

Tyson Foods, Inc. is chaired by John Tyson.

In the position of CEO since 2016

Thomas P. Hayes has been the President of Tyson Foods, Inc. since June 13, 2016 and has been Chief Executive Officer since December 31, 2016.

Tom Hayes is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, having been appointed to that position in December 2016.

Hayes has been a member of the Board since November 2016.

Prior to his appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer, he served as President since June 2016, as Chief Commercial Officer since June 2015, prior to which he served as President, Foodservice since 2014.

Prior to this appointment, Hayes served as Chief Supply Chain Officer for The Hillshire Brands Company (formerly the Sara Lee Corporation) since 2009.

The Company acquired The Hillshire Brands Company in 2014.

At the time of Hayes’s appointment as chief executive officer at Tyson Foods, John Tyson, Chairman of the Board of Directors, had stated: “Tom Hayes is a proven leader who has played an important role in creating today’s Tyson Foods and driving growth across our company. The plan we have announced today will result in a smooth leadership transition that positions Tyson Foods for continued growth and innovation.  The Board’s decision to name Tom CEO at this time was based on both his track record and how his skills align with the company’s strategic direction and continuing evolution.  The Board has the utmost confidence in Tom’s ability to build on the platform Donnie has created, to expand further into developing markets, new product categories and proprietary food experiences, and to continue investing in our core nine categories.”

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Tom Hayes’s imminent move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 39.2018 ($).