In his new role as president of Tyson Foods, Tom Hayes will lead the company;s transition toward a focus on its hybrid model of branded prepared foods and fresh meats. 

SPRINGDALE, ARK. — The board of directors of Tyson Foods Inc. has promoted Tom Hayes to president. In this role he will lead the company’s transition toward a focus on its hybrid model of branded prepared foods and fresh meats. Hayes will work directly with Donnie Smith, who will continue as the company’s CEO. Smith had been president since 2009.

Hayes most recently was chief commercial officer at Tyson and previously was president of foodservice. 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, Hayes was group vice president of US Foodservice Inc., where he oversaw the turnaround needs of broadline 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.

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 in psychology from the Univ. of New Hampshire and a master’s from Northwestern Univ.’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,” 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."

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Hayes will receive a base salary of $950,000.