Tyson Foods Board of Directors


JohnTysonJohn Tyson

Chairman of the Board

Chairman since 1998, Director since 1984

John brings to Tyson Foods’ board critical understanding of the company, its operations and the food processing industry.


He has devoted his entire working career to Tyson Foods. The grandson of the company’s founder, John has been part of the company since he was a teenager, has worked in almost every department, and eventually became the company’s chief executive officer. He currently serves as Chairman of the board and has a substantial financial interest in Tyson Foods through his interest in the Tyson Limited Partnership, which retains control of the company.


John has been crucial in building the company into a global leader with a conscience, focused on feeding the world great food, made with the utmost respect. Under his leadership, Tyson Foods has expanded its portfolio of products beyond chicken through major acquisitions. In 2001, the company purchased IBP, inc., the nation’s largest beef and pork processor. In 2014, Tyson Foods acquired The Hillshire Brands Company, a leading producer of branded, prepared foods. The combination of Tyson and Hillshire created a single company with more than $40 billion in annual sales and a portfolio of recognized brands, such as Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Sara Lee®, Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells® and State Fair®.


John and other senior managers led the development of Tyson Foods’ “Core Values," which set goals and standards. The company strives to be an honorable company that employs diverse people and is respectful of their faith. His work has helped Tyson Foods take pride in the safety and quality of its products, and its dedication to meet customers’ and consumers’ needs. The company feeds families, the nation and the world with trusted food products.


He is actively involved in several philanthropic endeavors, including Tyson Foods’ charitable giving, which focuses on health and human services, community development, education, hunger relief and supporting military veterans. John has received numerous awards and recognitions for his commitment to the common good, improvement of local communities and the world at large. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.



Gaurdie E. Banister Jr.

Director since 2011

Gaurdie brings extensive leadership and international business experience to Tyson Foods’ board.


From 2007 to July 2015, he was the president and chief executive officer of Aera Energy LLC, one of California’s largest oil and gas producers. Aera is jointly owned by major energy companies Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil. In July, 2015 he retired from Aera Energy LLC.


Gaurdie began his career with Shell in 1980. He was involved in strategic planning, information technology and acquisitions during his 27 years with the company.


He started at Shell as an offshore facilities engineer and subsequently held a variety of executive level jobs including vice president for the company’s Asia Pacific region.



Mike Beebe

Director since 2015

Mike’s extensive leadership experience, ability to collaborate and his long-time support and understanding of business make him a valuable asset to the board.


He currently serves as a member of the Governors’ Council for the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., is an advisor to Arkansas State University and is of counsel to the Roberts Law Firm in Little Rock.


Mike was governor of Arkansas from 2007 to 2015, served as the state’s attorney general from 2003 to 2007 and was a state senator from 1983 to 2003.


He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Arkansas State University and earned his law degree from the University of Arkansas. He was involved in private law practice for 30 years and previously served on the board of trustees at Arkansas State University.



Mikel A. Durham

Director since 2015

Mikel brings a background in branded consumer packaged goods and a deep understanding of the foodservice industry to Tyson Foods’ board. Her experience leading international growth strategies will provide insight to the company as it continues to grow globally.


Mikel began her career in 1985 with management consulting firm Bain & Company, where she served in several roles working in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Russia. In 1994, she joined PepsiCo in the U.S., where she was promoted to vice president and general manager of the company’s south European and north African restaurant operations. Subsequently, she served as a managing director of Guinness, as president of Burger King North America; and as president of global supply for Cadbury Schweppes.


In 2009 she returned to PepsiCo where she progressed, finally serving as global growth officer for PepsiCo Foodservice. From 2014 to 2016, she was the global chief commercial officer of the private equity backed CSM Bakery Solutions, a global bakery supply manufacturer.  In January 2017, she was named chief executive officer of American Seafoods Group.



Tom Hayes

President and Chief Executive Officer

A consumer products veteran with more than 30 years of experience, Tom Hayes leads 114,000 team members globally. Appointed to his role as CEO in 2016, Tom heads up one of the world’s largest food companies with leading brands that include Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Sara Lee®, Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells® and State Fair®.


Prior to his current role, Tom led all operations and commercial functions as President of Tyson Foods. He previously held positions in the company as chief commercial officer, overseeing all North American sales, as well as president of foodservice. Tom came to Tyson Foods with the acquisition of The Hillshire Brands Company in 2014, where he held the position of chief supply chain officer responsible for operations, including procurement, manufacturing, food safety and quality, engineering and logistics.


Previously, Tom was senior vice president and chief supply chain officer for Sara Lee North America, responsible for the company’s North American Retail and Foodservice businesses’ supply chain activities. Prior to this role, Tom was president of Sara Lee Foodservice. Before joining Sara Lee in 2006, Tom served as group vice president of US Foodservice, Inc., where he oversaw the turnaround needs of broad line distribution facilities in the Northeast. Tom has also held general management, sales and marketing roles at ConAgra Foods, The Fort James Corporation, Stella Foods and Kraft Foods.


Tom is currently on the executive board of directors of the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). He has also served on the board of directors for the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA). Tom earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Business Administration degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.



Kevin M. McNamara

Director since 2007

Kevin’s financial expertise and professional career are critical to Tyson Foods’ board, audit committee and compensation and leadership development committee. 


Since March 2015 he has served as the chief executive officer of CenseoHealth, a leading provider of in-home physician assessments. In addition, he is the founding principal of McNamara Family Ventures, a family investment office providing venture and growth capital to health care companies. He has served as a director of Agilum Healthcare Intelligence since 2011 and served as an operating partner in Health Evolution Partners, a private equity firm focused on healthcare, from 2013 through 2014. He has also served as a director of Luminex Corporation since 2007.


Kevin previously served as the vice chairman of Leon Medical Centers, a healthcare provider for Medicare patients, but he continues to serve on the Leon Medical Centers board of directors. From 2005 to 2009 he was executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of HealthSpring, Inc., a managed care company.


Kevin’s financial expertise and professional experience are critical to the Tyson Foods Board, the audit committee and the compensation committee. He qualifies as an “audit committee financial expert” under the rules of the SEC based upon his experience overseeing financial reporting processes, internal accounting and financial controls, as well as managing independent auditor engagements.

Cheryl S. MillerCheryl S. Miller

Director since 2016


Cheryl’s more than 20 years of corporate finance experience in consumer-focused industries and experience in such key areas as acquisitions, cybersecurity, e-commerce and public company shareholder relations make her a valuable asset to the board.


She is currently executive vice president and chief financial officer for AutoNation, Inc., a Fortune 150 company, where she is responsible for all financial functions of the company and a member of its executive committee. 


Cheryl joined AutoNation in 2009 as treasurer and vice president of Investor Relations and was promoted to CFO in 2014. She previously served as vice president and treasurer for JM Family Enterprises, a diversified automotive company, and ION Media Networks. She also previously held financial management jobs at Republic Industries, and its successor companies of AutoNation and Alamo/National car rental, as well as Circuit City Stores. 


A native of Puerto Rico and resident of Florida, Cheryl holds a bachelor's degree in finance and business administration from James Madison University. She is an advisory board member for the Florida Institute of CFOs and serves on the board of directors and investment committee for the Broward Performing Arts Foundation.



Jeffrey K. Schomburger

Director since 2016

Jeff’s deep understanding of the branded consumer packaged goods business and his experience as a leader are among the reasons he serves on the board. 


Jeff currently serves as Global Sales Officer for The Procter & Gamble Company. He joined the company in 1984 and has held numerous leadership roles, including President of the Global Walmart team from 2005 to 2015. He started as a sales representative and held positions of increasing responsibility in the company’s paper products business. He progressed to the company’s customer marketing organization, managing various assignments in Western Europe, including Vice President of Sales for Western Europe, before returning to the U.S. to lead P&G’s Global Walmart business. He was named to his current position in 2015. 


A native of Florida, Schomburger graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics. He is Chairman of the Cincinnati City Center Development Corporation and has previously served as United Way Campaign Chair and on the Executive Board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.



Robert C. Thurber

Director since 2009

Robert’s vast understanding of the food service industry provides Tyson Foods’ board with crucial insight to address the company’s opportunities and challenges.


Robert is also a director of Church Brothers Produce, a grower, processor, and shipper of fresh vegetables located in Salinas, Calif.


He served as vice president of purchasing for Sysco Corporation, the nation’s largest food service marketing and distribution company, from 1987 until he retired in 2007.


Robert held various executive positions with Sysco and, as vice president, was responsible for managing a staff of hundreds of people and directing numerous acquisitions.



Barbara A. Tyson

Director since 1988

Barbara provides the board with in-depth insight into the company’s business and operations developed through years of experience as a Tyson Foods’ director and corporate officer.


She became a consultant to the company in 2002, after she retired as a Tyson Foods’ vice president.

Barbara has helped the board develop the company’s long-term strategy and build Tyson Foods into a worldwide leader in meat and poultry production.


She has contributed to Tyson Foods' understanding of the issues and the opportunities in bringing quality meat and poultry to tables globally. Barbara has also helped shape the company’s vision to sustainably improve diets, lives and communities around the world.


Barbara has a substantial personal interest in Tyson Foods as the sole income beneficiary of the Randal W. Tyson Testamentary Trust, which is a limited partner in the Tyson Limited Partnership.



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