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New Tyson Leadership Team In Place Following Hillshire Acquisition

Last updated on August 25th, 2022 at 01:07 pm

Tyson Foods Inc. has completed its merger with The Hillshire Brands Co. Shares of Hillshire Brands common stock have been delisted and are no longer traded on the New York Stock Exchange and Chicago Stock Exchange.

The combination of Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands creates a single company with more than $40 billion in annual sales and a portfolio that includes brands such as Tyson, Wright, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, State Fair and Hillshire Farm.

A new leadership team has been selected and includes a mix of existing senior leaders from Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands. Sean Connolly, former president and CEO of Hillshire Brands, has chosen to pursue other interests, but will consult during the integration process.

Andy Callahan, former president of Hillshire’s retail business, will manage all retail consumer brands, including the legacy Hillshire consumer brands (such as Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm and Sara Lee), Tyson’s consumer brands (such as Tyson frozen, value-added poultry and Wright Brand bacon) and Hillshire’s Gourmet Food Group.

Sally Grimes, former chief innovation officer and president of Hillshire’s Gourmet Food Group, will lead Tyson’s innovation (including research and development), sales and global brand strategy teams to support all products sold through retail channels and to maximize global growth.

Donnie King, former president-prepared foods, customer and consumer solutions for Tyson Foods, will oversee Tyson’s legacy poultry, fresh meats and non-branded prepared foods businesses as well as the combined Tyson Foods and Hillshire food service businesses. Those reporting to him will include Steve Stouffer, who will lead fresh meats; Noel White, who will lead poultry; Wes Morris, who will lead prepared foods operations; and Tom Hayes, currently chief supply chain officer for Hillshire Brands, who will lead the combined Tyson and Hillshire food service businesses.

Those continuing to report to Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith include David Van Bebber, who leads the Tyson legal team; Sara Lilygren, who leads corporate affairs; Dennis Leatherby, who continues as the company’s CFO; Hal Carper, who heads strategy and new ventures; Mike Roetzel, who oversees operations services; and Russell Tooley, who heads the company’s business process and continuous improvement practice.

Ken Kimbro, who has led Tyson Foods’ HR functions since 2001, will retire. Mary Oleksiuk, former chief HR officer for Hillshire Brands, will replace Kimbro.

Malik Sadiq, SVP-Asia Pacific, will oversee Tyson International on an interim basis. He takes the place of James Young, who will transition to the company’s Cobb-Vantress breeding stock subsidiary in the coming months.

Tyson will divest sow purchasing business

In order to complete the $8.5 billion acquisition of The Hillshire Brands Co., the U.S. Department of Justice is requiring Tyson Foods Inc. to divest Heinold Hog Markets, its sow purchasing business. The department said that without the required divestiture, the transaction would have combined companies that account for more than a third of sow purchases from U.S. farmers, and possibly reduce competition for purchases of sows from farmers.

Three state attorneys general—of Illinois Iowa, and Missouri—joined the department in the civil lawsuit filed Aug. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block the proposed transaction. At the same time, the department filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the competitive concerns alleged in the department’s lawsuit.

Farmers sell sows for processing into sausage. Both Tyson’s Heinold Hog Markets and Hillshire buy sows from U.S. farmers. Heinold Hog Markets buys sows from farmers, sorts the sows at buying stations and resells and trucks the sows to sausage producers. Hillshire buys sows directly from farmers, which it then makes into sausage sold under the Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farm brands.

The acquisition of Hillshire by Tyson Foods Inc. combines two major purchasers of sows from farmers in the U.S. and eliminates the benefit farmers have received from the competition between Hillshire and Tyson’s Heinold Hog Markets, the justice department said. Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Tyson must divest Heinold Hog Markets in its entirety to a buyer approved by the antitrust division.

Tyson Foods Inc., one of the world’s largest meat companies, is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Springdale, Ark. It produces, distributes and markets chicken, beef, pork and prepared food products. Tyson Hog Markets, a subsidiary of Tyson and Tyson Fresh Meats, buys and resells sows through its Heinold Hog Markets division.

In 2013, Tyson had total revenues of approximately $34.4 billion; Heinold Hog Markets had overall revenues of approximately $270 million.

The Hillshire Brands Co. is a Maryland corporation with its principal place of business in Chicago, Ill. Hillshire is a manufacturer and marketer of brand name food products for the retail and food service markets, including sausage, hot dogs and luncheon meats. Its brand names include Jimmy Dean, Ball Park and Hillshire Farm. Hillshire’s total revenues were approximately $3.9 billion for the year ended June 29, 2013.

Tyson topped an earlier bid by Pilgrim’s Pride to acquire Hillshire.

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