SPRINGDALE, Ark. – After assuming the role of president in 2016 and CEO later that same year, Tyson Foods Inc. announced Tom Hayes will step down Sept. 30, 2018 for personal reasons. Tyson’s board of directors has appointed Noel White as the company’s next president and CEO. White will also join the board of directors.

He most recently served as group president of Tyson’s Beef, Pork and International segments in addition to serving as a member of its enterprise leadership team. White also worked as chief operations officer and served as president of Tyson’s poultry business.  His career in the food business spans more than three decades, including about 20 years working at IBP, which Tyson acquired in 2001.

“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.” 

“Noel is a proven leader who has played an integral role in our enterprise leadership team for many years,” said John Tyson, chairman of the board. “He has run our beef, pork and poultry businesses and is now helping Tyson Foods capitalize on international opportunities. 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.”

Tyson also expressed gratitude for the contributions Hayes has made to grow the company during his tenure.

“Tom has accelerated the strategic transformation of Tyson Foods’ product portfolio and played an important role in the company’s continuing development,” he said. “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,” Hayes said. “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.”