Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith leaves at short notice

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After about seven years on the job
  • Laud, praise, thanks and good wishes for Smith
  • Tom Hayes takes over

(management-change.com) — Springdale, Arkansas, November 21, 2016 — Donnie Smith, 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, November 21, 2016, Donnie Smith leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the food company in a surprising move after about seven years on the job, effective December 31, 2016.

Smith’s duties are taken over by Tom Hayes, currently President at Tyson Foods, Inc.

No reason given

In the announcement, Tyson Foods did not explicitly explain the reason for Smith’s imminent move, leaving room for speculation.

“His intent to resign”

Tyson Foods said: “[O]n November 17, 2016, Donnie Smith informed the Company of his intent to resign as a member of the Board of Directors of the Company effective December 31, 2016.”

Precise information about the future plans of Smith was not immediately available.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Tyson Foods, Inc. since September 23, 2016.

Chaired by John Tyson

Tyson Foods, Inc. is chaired by John Tyson.

On the job as CEO since 2009

Smith will be available to consult with the Company for a three-year period.

Smith became CEO of Tyson Foods in November 2009, and has helped to build a platform to support the Company’s hybrid strategy of branded prepared products and fresh chicken, beef, pork and specialty meats.

Smith joined Tyson in 1980.

Through his career, Smith has worked to learn every angle of the Tyson Foods business.

He joined Tyson, working in poultry operations for seven years in Tennessee before moving to the company’s headquarters in Springdale, Ark., where he started as a commodity buyer.

He was named director of commodity purchasing in 1991 and during the next several years added complementary responsibilities to his management portfolio: logistics, purchasing and information systems in 2006; and engineering, food safety and quality assurance, and environmental health and safety in 2007.

He moved into the company’s consumer products division in 2008 and was named senior group vice president of poultry and prepared foods in early 2009, the same year he was appointed as president and CEO.

A native of Tennessee, Smith graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in animal science.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Donnie Smith’s move.

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

Read the full story in the management-change.com report 44.2016 ($).