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Tom Hayes steps up at Tyson as CEO Donnie Smith steps down

This was Tyson chief Donnie Smith (above) on June 21, 2012, in Jackson, Mississippi, where he participated in a program to reduce hunger in Mississippi. (AP file photo by Rogelio V. Solis)

November 21, 2016

Two views of the Tyson news

Reuters: Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) shares tumbled almost 15 percent on Monday after the nation’s biggest meat processor forecast lower-than-expected 2017 profit and said Chief Executive Officer Donnie Smith would step down at the end of the year.

The seller of Jimmy Dean sausage and Ball Park hot dogs also reported disappointing quarterly results due to increased investment spending, the double whammy of spiking chicken feed costs and lower demand, and a prepared foods production hiccup following the closure of a factory that makes pizza toppings.

Tom Hayes

Tom Hayes

Shares were down 14.8 percent to $57.44 in midday trading.

Wall Street Journal: Shares of Tyson Foods Inc. dropped sharply Monday as the company announced that Chief Executive Officer Donnie Smith would leave, and the company gave a downbeat outlook for profit in the year ahead.

Tyson, which also posted disappointing fourth-quarter earnings and revenue, said Mr. Smith would be replaced at the helm by President Tom Hayes.

Mr. Smith, a 36-year veteran at Tyson, became CEO in 2009 and helped steer the company through a tough patch for the U.S. chicken industry, the Journal writes. In 2014, he oversaw Tyson’s bid battle with rival Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. to acquire Hillshire Brands Co., maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs, in a $7.7 billion deal that vaulted Tyson deeper into grocery-store aisles with a portfolio of brands that went far beyond Tyson’s existing offerings.

Mr. Smith delivered the commencement address at the University of Tennessee in May 2013. Tyson features Mr. Smith in a leadership video on its website.

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