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Tyson Foods Executive Team

 

Donnie Smith

Donnie Smith

President and Chief Executive Officer

 

Donnie’s enthusiasm for Tyson Foods and his self-effacing humor are contagious. Appointed to his role as president and CEO in 2009, his passion is the hallmark of his tenure at the company, which he joined in 1980. Daily, he guides Tyson Foods to be a company with a conscience, focused on feeding the world great, affordable food, while also making a positive difference in people’s lives.

Like many Team Members, Donnie often dresses in work-ready khaki uniforms with the Tyson logo and his name stitched over the shirt pockets. This tradition, started by the company’s legendary former chairman and CEO Donald J. Tyson, is indicative of Donnie’s work ethic, reminding himself and others he’s willing to pitch-in wherever the company and his Team Members need him.

Through his career, Donnie has worked to learn every angle of the business. He started at Tyson Foods working in poultry operations for seven years in Tennessee before moving to the company’s headquarters in Springdale, Ark., where he became a commodity buyer. He was named director of commodity purchasing in 1991 and during the next several years added complementary responsibilities to his management portfolio. He was named senior vice president of logistics, purchasing and information systems in 2006. In 2007, Donnie was named group vice president of operation services, which included oversight of engineering, food safety and quality assurance, as well as environmental health and safety. He moved into the company’s consumer products division in 2008 and was named senior group vice president of poultry and prepared foods in early 2009, the same year he was appointed as president and CEO.

A native of Tennessee, Donnie graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in animal science.

 

James V. Lochner

James V. Lochner

Chief Operating Officer

 

As Chief Operating Officer, Jim leads thousands of Team Members around the world who are responsible for producing high-quality food in safe operations with care for the animals, the land and the environment. He was named COO in 2009.

Devoted to the agriculture industry as a means to feed the world quality food, Jim oversees the company’s poultry and fresh meat production operations, as well as food processing, international divisions and renewable products. He also leads divisions that support the company’s business units through transportation, information services, product development, and environmental, health and safety services.

Jim held numerous other leadership roles before assuming his current responsibilities including Tyson Foods’ senior group vice president for the Fresh Meats division, and senior group vice president over Margin Optimization, Purchasing and Logistics. He joined the company as group vice president in 2001, the year Tyson Foods acquired meat processor IBP, inc. He was president and Chief Operating Officer of IBP,  which he joined in 1983.

Jim earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in meat and animal science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has worked for Oscar Mayer & Co. and as a faculty member of the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Wisconsin.

 

 

Hal Carper

Hal Carper  

Executive Vice President, Strategy & New Ventures

Hal Carper is executive vice president of Strategy and New Ventures. He is in charge of the company's strategic planning, encompassing business development, mergers, acquisitions integration and new ventures. He is also the business leader over Tyson Pet Products, Inc., which manufactures True Chews® brand dog treats.

Hal previously served as Tyson Foods' group vice president of R&D, logistics, and technical services. He led a wide array of important business functions including food safety and quality assurance; information systems; animal well-being; purchasing; trucking; distribution; and environmental, health and safety.

Hal joined Tyson Foods in 2001 as senior vice president and general manager of the Prepared Foods group after the company acquired IBP, inc. Hal previously served as the president and CEO of Iceland Seafood Corp., as well as fulfilling leadership roles at Eastern Airlines and Sara Lee Meat Group. He is also a former member of the board of directors for Gelmer, a leading European seafood processor.

Hal currently serves on the board of directors for the Arkansas Research Alliance, a public-private partnership that supports academic research which benefits economic development activity.

Hal is from Atlanta, Georgia, and is a graduate of Georgia State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

 

 

Devin Cole

Devin Cole

President, Sales & Marketing, Chief Commercial Officer

As president of sales and marketing and Tyson Foods' chief commercial offer, Devin oversees a broad area of the company's business development for retail and food service. He is responsible for sales, marketing, research and development, insights, innovation, and training for Tyson Foods' poultry and prepared foods division-a sector of the company that accounted for more than 46% of the business in 2013.

Before being appointed to his current position in 2013, Devin began his career in the food industry with Hudson Foods in 1995, which later merged with Tyson Foods in 1998. He has held several senior management roles at Tyson Foods, including a five-year stint as senior vice president and general manager of the business unit responsible for the company's largest restaurant customer. He also previously served as group vice president of food service, where he had responsibility for all poultry and prepared foods production, marketing and sales to food service channels.

A native of Northwest Arkansas, Devin attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He serves on the governing boards for the Indiana-based Kids & Clays Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkoma, in Springdale, Ark., and Restore Humanity, an Arkansas-based non-profit organization with a vision of global access to basic human necessities, compassion and kindness.

 

 

Kenneth J. Kimbro

Kenneth J. Kimbro

Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer

As Tyson Foods’ executive vice president and Chief Human Resources Officer, Ken’s work has ensured Tyson Foods is composed of people who care and who work together to make great food while making a difference. Since joining the company as senior vice president of human resources in 2001 when IBP, inc. was acquired by Tyson Foods, he has been a member of Tyson Foods’ leadership team and is responsible for the company’s human resource capital.

Ken’s career spans more than 30 years, focusing on management and human resources. His work has been crucial in making Tyson Foods a leader with a conscience that takes pride in the work of its more than 115,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world.

He serves on the boards of The United Way of Northwest Arkansas, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, and is an advisor to the board of directors of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting of Northwest Arkansas. Ken also serves on the board of the American Heart Association in Northwest Arkansas. Ken is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management.

A native of Illinois, Ken holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Iowa.

 

 

Donnie King

Donnie King

President, Prepared Foods, Customer & Consumer Solutions

 

Donnie was named Tyson Foods' president of prepared foods, customer and consumer solutions in late 2013. Prior to that time, he served as senior group vice president of poultry and prepared foods, a role he assumed in 2009. He is responsible for all sales and marketing at Tyson Foods as well as for the company's expanding prepared foods group.

Donnie’s work fortifies Tyson Foods’ dedication to producing and marketing trusted quality food products that fit today’s changing lifestyles and to attracting, rewarding and retaining the best people in the food industry.

Previously, Donnie served as group vice president of refrigerated and deli, fowl and export sales. He also held a variety of senior management positions, including senior vice president of food service operations; senior vice president of consumer products operations; and group vice president of poultry and prepared foods operations.

Donnie joined Tyson Foods in 1982 and, soon after, became a poultry plant manager, before progressing as a poultry complex manager and director of logistics.

He is a member of the executive committee of the National Chicken Council’s board of directors and a former member of the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association. Donnie has a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

 

Dennis Leatherby

Dennis Leatherby

Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

 

Dennis oversees the worldwide finance and accounting functions for Tyson Foods and represents the company on matters involving investors, banks, ratings agencies, auditors and other financial matters. Dennis, who has played an active role in many of Tyson Foods’ acquisitions, was appointed executive vice president and Chief Financial Officer in 2008.

He joined Tyson Foods in 1990 as assistant Treasurer and has since held several other finance-related management positions, including Tyson Foods’ senior vice president of finance and Treasurer, and interim Chief Financial Officer.

Dennis ensures the company’s fiscal responsibilities are in line with its stated commitment to make great food and make a difference in people’s lives. He has helped Tyson Foods become the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork, and a leader that takes pride in the safety and quality of its products.

He was named Outstanding Financial Executive of the Year (2009-10) by his alma mater, Kansas State University College of Business Administration. He is currently on the board of the Garrison Financial Institute within the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas; an advisory council member of the Kansas State University, College of Business Administration; and member of the Board of Trustees at Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville, Ark.

A native of Overland Park, Kan., Dennis earned bachelor’s degrees in both accounting and finance from Kansas State University.

 

 

Sara Lilygren

Sara Lilygren

Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs

 

Sara is responsible for public relations and community relations, as well as government relations, and corporate communications. She was named executive vice president of corporate affairs in 2012. Prior to that appointment, she had served as senior vice president of external relations since 2009.

She guides Tyson Foods’ vision of being an advocate for customers, farmers and consumers everywhere who want great food produced responsibly at affordable prices.

Sara also leads the company’s charitable giving, which focuses on education and hunger relief. Tyson Foods’ goal is to make a positive contribution to the active, passionate community involved in the fight against hunger.

Prior to 2009, Sara led the company’s federal government relations efforts in Washington, D.C., for seven years. Tyson Foods is active in many issues at the federal level, including renewable fuels policy, agriculture, food safety, nutrition, immigration reform, labor, the environment and international trade.

Before joining Tyson Foods, Sara worked at the American Meat Institute, a non-profit trade association representing U.S. beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey processors. Tyson Foods is a member of AMI. During her 18 years with AMI, Sara served in a variety of public relations and legislative affairs positions, and was most significantly the senior vice president for legislative and public affairs for eight years.

Sara serves on boards or advisory councils for the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, National Chicken Council, American Meat Institute, Center for Food Integrity, Arkansas World Trade Center, Ozark Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Walton Arts Center. She earned a bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia.

 

 

Wes Morris

Wes Morris

President, Prepared Foods

 

Wes Morris was appointed president of prepared foods in 2013, as prepared foods became a stand-alone division within Tyson Foods for the first time. In fiscal year 2013, prepared foods represented 10% of the company's total $34.4 billion in annual sales and are seen as a growth engine within the business as consumers continue to seek out added convenience at mealtime.

Wes’ portfolio features one of the broadest assortments of products within the company. Tyson Foods makes about half of all pepperoni used in major pizza chains and about 90 percent of the pepperoni found on frozen pizzas at the grocery store. Prepared foods also includes everything from bacon to soups and sauces to taco shells to the company’s new line of Tyson® Day Starts breakfast entrees. In his role, Wes also has oversight of Wright® brand products and Mexican Original® products, as well as the brands of recent acquisitions, Circle Foods, Don Julio Foods and Bosco’s Pizza Co.

Wes joined Tyson Foods in 1999 and has held a number of officer and senior-officer level positions, most recently serving as group vice president of consumer products, where he led the team responsible for selling branded and private label food products to retailers. Prior to joining Tyson Foods, Wes spent 13 years in the consumer products industry, including sales leadership roles for The Dial Corp. and The Andrew Jergens Co.

Wes is an Arkansas native and received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas. He is on the board of directors for the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association and serves on the Jones Center Development Council in Springdale, Ark.

 

 

Mike RoetzelMike Roetzel 

Group Vice President, Operation Services

 

Mike Roetzel was promoted to group vice president of operation services in 2013. He oversees several of the company's shared services including information systems; animal well-being; the company's continuous improvement process; distribution; purchasing; food safety and quality assurance; and environmental, health and safety.


He began his career with Tyson Foods in 1986 as the controller for the transportation and warehousing division. Soon after, Mike was named director of sales accounting and has held numerous leadership positions with Tyson Foods, including director of transportation, vice president of commodity purchasing, and finally, senior vice president of purchasing, which is the role he held from 2008 through 2013.


Mike is a Springdale, Ark., native and earned his bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Arkansas. He was certified as a public accountant a short time later.

 

 

Steve Stouffer

Steve Stouffer

President, Fresh Meats

 

Steve Stouffer was selected as president of fresh meats in 2013 after more than 30 years of service with the company at its Dakota Dunes, S.D., headquarters. In his role, Steve oversees all aspects of the company's manufacture and sales of fresh boxed and value-added beef and pork, as well as Tyson Foods' live swine production group.

Combined, the Tyson Foods beef and pork segments process more than half a million head of livestock each week and represented 54 percent of total company sales for fiscal year 2013. Tyson Foods is the largest U.S. beef packer and second-largest producer of pork products.

Steve joined IBP, inc., which later became Tyson Fresh Meats, in 1982 as a beef carcass merchandiser. He has since held a number of management and officer positions in beef and pork sales, most recently serving as the senior vice president of beef margin management, where he led the company's beef division.

Steve is a native of Kaneville, Ill., and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor's degree in animal science.

 

 

Russell J. Tooley

Executive Vice President, Program Management


Russell Tooley was named executive vice president of program management for Tyson Foods in 2013. Russell has been part of Tyson Foods' corporate and international leadership team since joining the company in 1987 and played a key role in the recruitment and development of the company's global teams. Previously, he served as an operations manager in the food industry.

 

Russell serves on the boards of the Jones Trust in Northwest Arkansas, the area chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, and the Northwest Arkansas chapters of The American Heart Association and Wings for Our Troops. He is also a member of the Society of Human Resource Management. 

 

 An Arkansas native, Russell holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture business and economics from Arkansas State University.

                                     

    
David L. Van Bebber

David L. Van Bebber

Executive Vice President, General Counsel

 

David is Tyson Foods’ executive vice president and general counsel, a position he assumed in 2008.

As the company’s Chief Legal Officer, he oversees legal matters as well as internal audit, compliance and the areas of workers compensation and claims.

David has been crucial in Tyson Foods’ efforts to act with pride, honesty, responsibility and accountability.

He has successfully managed litigation involving Tyson Foods’ compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, immigration law and occupational safety regulations. He was the lead in-house attorney in Tyson Foods’ acquisition of companies such as Hudson Foods Inc. and Holly Farms Corp. Additionally, he was the integration manager for Tyson Foods’ 2001 purchase of IBP, inc.

Since joining Tyson Foods in 1986 as corporate counsel, David has held various officer positions with the company. He was vice president and director of Legal Services, senior vice president of Legal Services and senior vice president and deputy general counsel.

David also previously served as general counsel and secretary of the Lane Processing Companies of Arkansas. He participated in the negotiation and sale of Lane to Tyson Foods in 1986.

He is a member of the Arkansas and American Bar Associations, as well as the American Corporate Counsel Association. David also is a board member and vice president of Life Styles Inc. of Fayetteville, Ark., a non-profit organization serving those in the community with physical and mental disabilities.

A native of De Queen, Ark., David earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

 

Noel White

Noel White

President, Poultry

 

Noel was selected to lead Tyson Foods' poultry division in 2013, building upon a 30-year career in leadership roles with the company. As president of poultry, Noel oversees 60 production facilities that yield roughly 36 percent of the company's total sales.  

Noel joined IBP, inc. in 1983, prior to its acquisition by Tyson Foods. He previously served in numerous sales, management, and company officer positions including senior vice president for fresh meat sales and marketing and senior vice president, pork product management. Most recently, he was the senior group vice president of fresh meats, a position he held from 2009 until 2013.

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Noel is a graduate of Bemidji State University, in Bemidji, Minn. He received a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in economics from Oklahoma City University.

 

James Young

James Young

Group Vice President, International

James manages Tyson Foods’ international businesses in China, India, Brazil and Mexico, and oversees dedicated Team Members around the globe. He was appointed group vice president for international business in 2011.

James joined Tyson Foods in 1988. He previously managed the company’s business in Latin America and also oversaw the international operations of Cobb-Vantress, a subsidiary of Tyson Foods, and one of the world's leading poultry breeding companies.  
 
A native of Dallas, Texas, James is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. James serves on the executive advisory council for the Hickingbotham School of Business at OBU and is a director for a private school board in Northwest Arkansas. 

Corporate Leadership

Board of Directors

Tyson Foods’ Board of Directors is comprised of successful leaders in diverse businesses and led by Chairman John Tyson, grandson of the company’s founder. Learn More >>

Leadership at Tyson Foods

Leadership at Tyson

Current and future leaders of Tyson Foods. Learn More >>

Donnie Smith at North Carolina A&T


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Tyson Foods employs more than 115,000 Team Members worldwide. Our Careers page offers info on jobs, internships, benefits and our support of military veterans.  Learn More >>
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