SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Gaurdie Banister Jr., 54, president and CEO of Aera Energy LLC, a $4 billion oil and gas producer that is jointly owned by Shell and ExxonMobil, has been selected as a new independent director on the Tyson Foods Inc. board.

Banister began his career with Shell in 1980 and during his 27 years with the company was involved in strategic planning, information technology and acquisitions. He started as an offshore facilities engineer with the company and subsequently held a variety of executive level jobs including technical vice president for Shell International’s Asia Pacific region.

In 2007, Banister was named to his current position with Aera Energy, one of California’s largest oil and gas producers.

“We’re pleased the sitting CEO of a major company is joining our board,” said John Tyson, Tyson Foods chairman. “Gaurdie’s extensive leadership experience and his involvement in international business are among the key reasons why he was recommended by our nominating committee. We believe he’ll be an excellent addition to our board.”

Other members of the Tyson board are Kathleen Bader, Jim Kever, Kevin McNamara, Robert Thurber, Brad Sauer, Barbara Tyson and Albert Zapanta.