Tom Hayes is stepping down as chief executive of Tyson Foods after less than two years on the job, the US’s biggest meat producer by sales said on Monday.
The news makes Tyson the latest major US food producer to shake up its top ranks as the industry struggles to do battle with rising price pressure and trade tariff fallout. Mr Hayes’s departure also comes just seven weeks after the meat producer issued a surprise profit warning.
Tyson said in a statement Mr Hayes is stepping down for “personal reasons”. He will be replaced by Noel White, who was formerly group president of Tyson’s beef, pork and international division, beginning September 30.
“It is a very difficult decision to leave Tyson Foods, but after careful consideration and discussions with my family and the board, I know it is the right thing to do,” said Mr Hayes.
Tyson stunned the market in July by downgrading its earnings outlook by more than one-tenth. At the time, it blamed fallout from the Trump administration’s recently-imposed tariffs and a glut of beef and pork in the domestic market for the move.
Mr Hayes’s exit continues a recent trend of management turnover at major US food and beverage groups. Companies including PepsiCo, Coke, Starbucks, Campbell Soup, Kellogg, General Mills, Hershey and Mondelez have all replaced their chief executives since the start of 2017.
Shares in Tyson, down 22 per cent so far this year, fell 2.2 per cent in pre-market trading.
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