Tyson Foods Inc.’s board of directors has appointed Noel White, formerly group president of beef, pork and international and a member of Tyson Foods’ enterprise leadership team, as president and CEO, effective Sept. 30. White, who also will join the board of directors, will succeed Tom Hayes, who is stepping down for personal reasons.
“Noel is a proven leader who has played an integral role in our enterprise leadership team for many years. He has run our beef, pork, and poultry businesses and is now helping Tyson Foods capitalize on international opportunities,” said John Tyson, chairman of the board of directors. “His deep institutional knowledge and a stellar track record over his more than 30-year career at Tyson Foods and a predecessor company give the board the utmost confidence in his ability to drive the business forward, accelerate global growth and create long-term value for shareholders.
“Tom has accelerated the strategic transformation of Tyson Foods’ product portfolio and played an important role in the company’s continuing development. The board and I thank him for his many contributions to the success of Tyson Foods and wish him well.”
“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 Hayes. “I am appreciative of support from my family and the board for my decision and am confident that Tyson Foods has a bright future with Noel White, along with our enterprise leadership team, as its leader.”
“I am honored to serve as Tyson Foods’ next CEO, and I am excited by the many opportunities that lie ahead,” said White. “It has been a privilege to contribute to this company’s evolution over the course of many years and to be a part of its becoming one of the world’s largest food companies. I look forward to accelerating the current trajectory of growth as a global modern food company through our operational excellence, innovative thinking and focus to sustainably feed the world. With the company’s strong portfolio of fast-growing brands, diverse capabilities, exceptional enterprise leadership team and dedicated team members, we are well-positioned for continued success.”
White has more than 30 years of experience in the food industry and worked at IBP for nearly two decades prior to its 2001 acquisition by Tyson. He has served in various leadership roles throughout his career with Tyson, including as chief operations officer. As group president of beef, pork and international, he was responsible for delivering top and bottom line growth for the company’s beef and pork segments as well as the international business. Previously, he was president of poultry from 2013 to 2017 and has also served in numerous sales, management and company officer positions.
White is a graduate of Bemidji State University and earned a master of business administration degree with an emphasis in economics from Oklahoma City University.