Tyson CEO defends questioned expertise of new leadership, including recently arrested CFO

“At Tyson … our succession planning process is very robust,”​ CEO Donnie King told investment analysts yesterday during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call. He added that he is “pleased with the decision”​ announced in late September to appoint John Tyson as CFO, replacing Steward Glendinning who will transition to group president of the prepared foods division following the departure of Noelle O’Mara who left to pursue other opportunities, and the expansion of Amy Tu’s position of executive vice president, chief legal officer & secretary, global governance and corporate affairs to include the role of president, international & chief administration officer.

King described the trio as “very talented individuals”​ who all “have experience in other areas that they brought to Tyson,”​ and with whom he said he is “perfectly comfortable.”

His assessment came in response to an investment analyst who suggested the appointments may not meet the same bar as previously applied by the company.

“I have followed Tyson for a long time and I am used to the company putting people with a lot of brand management expertise in charge of prepared foods because of its heavily branded food portfolio ​[which includes iconic packaged food brands Ball Park, Hillshire Farm and Jimmy Dean], and putting people into the CFO role who have 20-plus years of experience in finance,​” Robert Moskow of Credit Suisse said on the call.

“This latest reshuffling did the opposite,”​ he added.

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