Tyson Foods, Hillshire complete merger, announce leadership

 
Aug. 29, 2014

Tyson Foods, Inc. has completed its merger with The Hillshire Brands Company.

The combination of Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands creates a single company with more than $40 billion in annual sales and a portfolio that includes recognized brands such as Tyson, Wright, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, State Fair and Hillshire Farm.

"As of today, Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands are officially together in one great company," said Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith in a company press release. "Part of our strategic growth plan has been to shift toward higher-margin prepared and branded foods. This transaction gives us a portfolio of complementary, proven brands as a new springboard and accomplishes in a short time what would have taken us years to build on our own."

The integration of the two companies is currently expected to generate savings of $225 million in FY 2015 and more than $500 million by FY 2017.

A new leadership team has been selected and includes a mix of existing senior leaders from Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands.

Andy Callahan, former president of Hillshire's retail business, will manage all retail consumer brands, including the legacy Hillshire consumer brands (such as Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm and Sara Lee), Tyson's consumer brands (such as Tyson frozen, value-added poultry and Wright Brand bacon) and Hillshire's Gourmet Food Group.

Sally Grimes, former chief innovation officer and president of Hillshire's Gourmet Food Group, will lead Tyson's innovation (including research and development), sales and global brand strategy teams to support all products sold through retail channels and to maximize global growth of our consumer brands.

Donnie King, former president-Prepared Foods, Customer and Consumer Solutions for Tyson Foods, will oversee Tyson's legacy poultry, fresh meats and non-branded prepared foods businesses as well as the combined Tyson Foods and Hillshire foodservice businesses. Those reporting to him will include Steve Stouffer who will lead fresh meats; Noel White who will lead poultry; Wes Morris who will lead prepared foods operations; and Tom Hayes, currently chief supply chain officer for Hillshire Brands, who will lead the combined Tyson and Hillshire foodservice businesses.

Those continuing to report to Donnie Smith will include David Van Bebber, who leads the Tyson legal team; Sara Lilygren, who leads corporate affairs; Dennis Leatherby, who continues as the company's chief financial officer; Hal Carper, who heads strategy and new ventures; Mike Roetzel, who oversees operations services; and Russell Tooley, who heads the company's business process and continuous improvement practice.

Ken Kimbro, who has led Tyson Foods' human resources functions since 2001, will be transitioning into retirement. He will be replaced by Mary Oleksiuk, former chief human resources officer for Hillshire Brands.

Malik Sadiq, senior vice president-Asia Pacific, will oversee Tyson International on an interim basis. He takes the place of James Young who will be transitioning to our Cobb-Vantress breeding stock subsidiary in the coming months.

Sean Connolly, former president and chief executive officer of Hillshire Brands, has chosen to pursue other interests, but will consult during the integration process. 


Topics: Operations Management

Companies: Tyson Food Service


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