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Tyson Foods promotes Donnie King to CEO
Former-COO King to succeed Dean Banks as chief executive effective immediately with expected focus on improving poultry margins

Meat giant Tyson Foods has promoted COO Donnie King to president and chief executive effective immediately, as outgoing CEO Dean Banks departs for personal reasons.

King’s career spans more than 36 years in the protein business where he has held a number of executive and leadership positions, including 29-years at Tyson Foods.

He is a former member of the executive committee of the National Chicken Council’s board of directors and a former member of the US Poultry and Egg Association.

Banks was appointed CEO in October 2020 to lead Tyson in its efforts to integrate advanced technologies into our operations and further our focus on team member health and safety.

Chairman of the board John Tyson said of the appointment: “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.

“We want to express our appreciation to Dean for his contributions as a board member and executive,” Tyson added.

“I’m humbled but excited about leading Tyson Foods, a company that feeds millions of people and means so much to me personally,” King said.

“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,” he added.

Bank of America wrote in an analyst note it expected King’s top priority to be turning around the group’s chicken business and returning it to profit.

King was previously successful in improving poultry margins in a prior role he held and Tyson.

Elsewhere, Tyson is preparing to launch a new line of frozen plant-based products in Asia, with Malaysia the first country to launch the First Pride brand.

Date published: 2 June 2021

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