Formerly chief commercial officer, Hayes will work directly with Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith. He has been tasked with leading a strategic transition to reflects the company’s focus on prepared food and fresh meat products.
In a statement on the appointment, Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith hailed Tom Hayes as someone who “played a key role in creating a united company and in our continued development of our branded products”.
Smith also said he hoped Hayes would lead the charge for “industry-leading growth in attractive market segments”.
Tom Hayes said he was “honoured” to be promoted to president of Tyson Food in a statement on 13 June. His priority, he added, was to ensure Tyson Foods becomes a “global leader” in added-value, branded and fresh meat products.
As chief commercial officer of Tyson Foods, Hayes was directly accountable for all sales in the North America region. Over a 29-year career in the food manufacturing industry, Hayes was group vice-president of US Foodservice Inc, and has also held financial and marketing roles at ConAgra Foods, The Fort James Corporation and Stella Foods.
Hayes also acted as the chief supply chain officer for the Hillshire Brands Company – a meat processing firm Tyson Foods acquired in 2014 for $8.55bn. Here, he was in charge of procurement, manufacturing, food safety, quality assurance and logistics.
John Tyson, chairman of the board of directors at Tyson Foods, praised current CEO Donnie Smith for delivering “excellent results” and “significant growth”. He added that the Tyson board was focused on finding leaders with skills to “capitalise on favourable market trends”.
Tyson Foods produces a range of fresh chicken, beef and pork items, as well as prepared foods like bacon, sausages, lunchmeat, hotdogs and pizza toppings. It supplies retail and foodservice sectors in more than 130 countries and employs 113,000 staff across 400 facilities.