Hayes' Record of Strategic, Operational and Commercial AccomplishmentsPositions Him to Lead Company's Continuing EvolutionDuring Smith's Seven-Year Tenure as CEO, Company Delivered Strong ShareholderReturns; Pivoted to Hybrid Strategy of Branded Prepared Foods and Fresh Meats SPRINGDALE, Ark., Nov. 21, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN), one of the world's largest food companies, today announced that Tom Hayes, President of Tyson Foods, will succeed Donnie Smith as Chief Executive Officer on December 31, 2016. Hayes will continue to serve as President and has been appointed to the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Smith, who has been CEO of Tyson Foods since November 2009, will be available to consult with the Company for a three-year period. "Tom Hayes is a proven leader who has played an important role in creating today's Tyson Foods and driving growth across our company," said John Tyson, Chairman of the Board of Directors. "The plan we have announced today will result in a smooth leadership transition that positions Tyson Foods for continued growth and innovation. The Board's decision to name Tom CEO at this time was based on both his track record and how his skills align with the company's strategic direction and continuing evolution. The Board has the utmost confidence in Tom's ability to build on the platform Donnie has created, to expand further into developing markets, new product categories and proprietary food experiences, and to continue investing in our core nine categories." Mr. Tyson continued: "Donnie is leaving the Company in great hands, having developed an impressive pipeline of management talent while positioning us for continued growth and change. The Board and I thank Donnie for his many contributions and wish him all the best." Smith became CEO of Tyson Foods in November 2009, and has helped to build a platform to support the Company's hybrid strategy of branded prepared products and fresh chicken, beef, pork and specialty meats. Hayes was appointed President earlier this year and is leading Tyson Foods' transition to the hybrid model. Working with Smith to leverage Tyson Foods' scale and develop brands to drive growth, Hayes has been responsible for retailed packaged brands, international and global growth, North American sales, strategy and new ventures, as well as the support functions of corporate affairs and operations services.