Tyson Foods CEO Tom Hayes is stepping down for personal reasons

  • Tyson Foods CEO Tom Hayes is stepping down, with veteran leader Noel White succeeding his role, the company announced Monday.
  • The company reiterated his adjusted earnings-per-share guidance for fiscal year 2018.
  • The sudden CEO transition is a “surprise”, but should not cause any short-term volatility, said Jefferies analyst Akshay Jagdale.
  • Watch Tyson Foods trade in real time here.

Tyson Foods CEO Tom Hayes is stepping down for personal reasons, but the management transition does not affect its full-year guidance, the company said Monday. Shares are little changed following the news.

Tom Hayes will be succeed by Noel White, formerly group president of Beef, Pork and International at Tyson Foods since September 30, the company said in a statement. Meanwhile, Tyson reaffirmed its adjusted earnings-per-share guidance of $US5.70 to $US6.00 for fiscal year 2018.

“Noel is a proven leader who has played an integral role in our enterprise leadership team for many years,” John Tyson, chairman of the board of directors said in the press release.

“His deep institutional knowledge and a stellar track record over his more than 30-year career at Tyson Foods and a predecessor company give the board the utmost confidence in his ability to drive the business forward, accelerate global growth and create long-term value for shareholders.”

And while the sudden CEO transition is a “surprise”, it should not cause short-term strategic shifts, according to Jefferies analyst Akshay Jagdal.

“Mr. White is a TSN veteran and someone we have a great deal of respect for as an outstanding operator. We don’t expect any near term strategic shifts,” Jagdale said in a note sent out to clients on Monday.

“The fact that the company went out of its way to reaffirm guidance solidifies our belief that Tom Hayes is retiring for personal reasons and that his decision is not a sign of potential operational issues,” he added.

Jagdale reiterated his $US75 price target and “buy” rating for Tyson Foods.

Tyson Foods shares are down 21% this year.

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