SPRINGDALE, ARK. — The board of directors of Tyson Foods, Inc. has promoted Tom Hayes to president, where he will lead the company’s transition toward a focus on its hybrid model of branded prepared foods and fresh meats. Mr. Hayes will work directly with Donnie Smith, who will continue as the company’s chief executive officer. Mr. Smith had been president since 2009.
Mr. Hayes most recently was chief commercial officer at Tyson and earlier was president of food service. Previously, he was chief supply chain officer for The Hillshire Brands Co., responsible for operations such as procurement, manufacturing, food safety and quality, engineering, and logistics. Prior to this role, he was president of Sara Lee Foodservice.
Before joining Sara Lee in 2006, Mr. Hayes was group vice-president of US Foodservice, Inc., where he oversaw the turnaround needs of broad line distribution facilities in the Northeast. A 29-year veteran of the consumer products industry, he previously held general management, sales and marketing roles at ConAgra Foods, The Fort James Corp., Stella Foods and Kraft Foods.
Mr. Hayes has served on the board of directors of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association and the executive committee of the board of directors of the North American Meat Institute.
He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.“Tom Hayes is an exceptional leader who has played a key role in creating a united company and in our continued development of our branded products,” Mr. Smith said. “He has a distinguished track record of strategic, operational and commercial accomplishments, and I am pleased to have an opportunity to work closely with him as we continue to leverage our scale and nine core brands to drive industry-leading growth in attractive market segments.”