Update: Dean Banks to Lead Tyson

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Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale said Monday that President Dean Banks will succeed Noel White as CEO, effective Oct. 3.

White, CEO since September 2018, will remain with the meat processor in a new role, executive vice chairman of the board of directors, the company said.

“The board and I are truly excited about the breadth and depth of capabilities of Dean and the entire executive leadership team, and we look forward to the energy and vision they will bring in leading Tyson Foods into the future,” Chairman John Tyson said in a news release.

“It’s clear to the board that Dean’s impressive background in entrepreneurship, technology, and the healthcare industry make him ideally suited to lead Tyson in its efforts to integrate advanced technologies into our operations and further our focus on team member health and safety.”

Tyson said the move is part of the board’s “deliberate, long-term succession planning.” 

Banks joined the company as a director in 2017 and was appointed president in 2019. He has an extensive history as an executive with technology companies, including X, an Alphabet Inc. company (formerly known as Google [x]), SEED Ventures and Vergent Bioscience.

White was an executive with IBP for more than 20 years when Tyson acquired the company in 2001. He served in a variety of leadership positions such as COO and president of its poultry and the beef, pork and international divisions.

3Q Earnings

Also on Monday, Tyson reported income of $527 million, down from $681 million in the same quarter a year ago, and adjusted earnings per share of $1.40, down from $1.47 but ahead of Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investments Research predicted 90 cents a share.

Revenue for the quarter was $10.02 billion, down from $10.9 billion, and below expectations of $10.6 billion, according to the average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Zacks.

The company said it had expenses of $340 million in the quarter related to the COVID-19 pandemic. That amount, which the company did not break down by protein segments, included $114 million for employee bonuses.

Tyson reported its beef segment generated revenue of $3.65 billion, down from $4.15 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Tyson, as with other meatpacking companies, has continued to combat slower production due to COVID-19 because of large batches of positive cases among employees and enhanced safety precautions at plants to prevent further cases.

Revenue was down for beef, but the segment’s operating income came in at $651 million, a jump from $270 million a year ago. The drop in beef production capabilities led to lower prices for cattle but higher prices on the retail market.

The pork segment reported revenue of $1.1 billion, down from $1.3 billion, with operating income of $107 million, up from $42 million. Chicken had revenue of $3.1 billion, down from $3.3 billion, but had an operating loss of $120 million, down from a profit of $230 million a year ago.

Prepared foods reported revenue of $2.03 billion, down from $2.08 billion, and operating income of $145 million, down from $229 million.

“This year has been full of challenges in an ever-changing environment, but I’m pleased with how we adapted,” White said in a conference call. “While the third quarter was one of the most volatile I have ever experienced, the company performed well.”