SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Independent director Dean Banks has been appointed president of Tyson Foods Inc., effective Dec. 20. Noel White, current president and CEO, will continue his role as CEO.

In his new role, Banks will oversee the company’s business segments and remain a member of the Tyson Foods’ board. He will then be considered a non-independent director.

Since 2016, Banks has been a project lead and leadership team member for X, the research and development arm of Alphabet Inc., formerly known as Google [x]. He joined the Tyson Foods board in 2017 and serves on two committees: the governance and nominating committee, which is responsible for various governance activities and identifying qualified candidate to be on the board, and the strategy and acquisitions committee, which assists the Tyson Foods board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities related to long-term strategy as well as decisions regarding investments, acquisitions and divestitures. Additionally, Banks serves on the board of Vergent Bioscience, a biotechnology company that develops molecular imaging probes for life science research and development. He was previously CEO of Vergent Bioscience.

“At a time of unprecedented change in the protein industry, we’re focused on capitalizing on our diversified business model and innovation to execute our growth strategy,” White said. “As we increasingly integrate advanced technologies into our operations, we’re pleased to add a leader of Dean’s caliber to our leadership team. From his service on the Tyson Foods board, Dean has developed a keen understanding of our business to go with his deep knowledge of the technologies and innovations that can help unlock opportunities now and in the future. I look forward to working closely with Dean as we drive Tyson Foods’ global growth in the future.”

Most recently, Banks was managing partner of SEED Ventures, a group that invests in and develops early stage healthcare technologies. He has also been a consultant to Cleveland Clinic Innovations, CEO of Occelerator, senior vice-president of business development and strategic marketing at OrthoHelix, co‐founder and CEO of Connective Orthopedics, and vice-president of Highland Capital Partners.

Banks is a former platoon sergeant and squad leader in the US Marine Corps. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in marketing and public relations from Miami Univ. and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.

“I have gotten to know Dean well over the past several years, particularly during his two years on our board, where he has demonstrated that he is a thoughtful leader who respects and appreciates the historical Tyson Foods culture,” said John Tyson, chairman of the board of directors. “As the board reflected on its talent acquisition and development pipeline, it became apparent, given Dean’s strong cultural fit with our organization and unique leadership experience and background in innovation and technology, that we could benefit from his distinctive abilities and personality on our enterprise leadership team. Dean brings a unique skillset and broad experience – including serving as a Marine, an entrepreneur, a start‐up investor, and a technologist – that will augment our next generation of leadership as it shapes the future of our company.”