SPRINGDALE, ARK. – Tyson Foods Inc. announced June 2 that Donnie King, chief operating officer, will take on the role of president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Dean Banks, who previously held those roles, is leaving the company and board for personal reasons. 

“Being a part of Tyson Foods has been a very rewarding experience,” Banks said. “Upon deep personal reflection, and discussions with my family, the board, and my colleagues, I believe that stepping down and concentrating on my family is the right decision at this time.”

Banks served as president and CEO since Oct. 3, 2020, when he replaced Noel White. He joined the company as a director in 2017 and became president of Tyson Foods in 2019.

With more than 36 years of experience in the protein business, King has held a variety of leadership positions at Tyson including those in poultry, beef, pork, prepared foods and international. He took over the role of COO in February. He also has expertise in food safety and quality assurance, health and safety, continuous improvement, engineering and supply chain.

“The board and I know that Donnie has a deep understanding of our business, values and culture and the solid leadership skills needed to continue to implement our strategy and deliver strong results,” said John H. Tyson, chairman of the board. “We want to express our appreciation to Dean for his contributions as a board member and executive.”

King added, “I’m humbled but excited about leading Tyson Foods, a company that feeds millions of people and means so much to me personally. I believe we need to be sharply focused on operating with excellence, executing our strategies, and continuing to innovate across our businesses throughout the world. With our strong leadership team, we are committed to winning with our customers and delivering an outstanding team member experience.”