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New York (CNN Business)Tyson CEO Dean Banks is leaving the company after less than a year on the job.
“Stepping down and concentrating on my family is the right decision at this time,” Banks said in a statement. He is being replaced as CEO and president by Chief Operating Officer Donnie King effective immediately, the company said Wednesday, noting that Banks is leaving “for personal reasons.” Banks also left his post as a member of the board.
Banks stepped into the CEO role at the meat processor in October 2020. He joined the company in 2017 as a director and became president in 2019. His predecessor, Noel White, had been in the CEO role since 2018.
Banks became CEO during a volatile period for the company. Early in the pandemic, meatpacking plants emerged as a hotspot for Covid-19. The company temporarily closed some of its plants, including its largest pork processor. And at one Tyson poultry facility in North Carolina, a quarter of the staff tested positive for the coronavirus last spring. Since then, operations have normalized and the company has poured money into measures intended to help stop the spread of Covid-19, the company has said.
King, the new CEO, has been with Tyson (TSN) for over 36 years, the company said in an SEC filing. He has held a number of positions during his time there, including as the company’s group president for international and president of North American operations. Most recently, he was the group president of poultry in addition to COO.
The new leader is stepping in as Tyson copes with low chicken volumes, caused in part by a type of male breeding rooster that has led to a decline in hatchings. After some dips and spikes in 2020, the company’s stock has grown about 24.5% this year.
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