Tyson names execs for poultry, pork and beef units

AP News
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Posted: Dec 06, 2009 6:55 PM

Tyson Foods Inc. has promoted two executives to lead the company's poultry and beef and pork units, filling leadership positions created when the company named a new CEO and chief operating officer last month.

The world's largest meat maker has named Donnie D. King, 47, as senior group vice president of poultry and prepared foods. He replaces Donnie Smith, who was named CEO and president last month to replace interim head Leland Tollett.

Noel White, 51, will be senior group vice president of the company's beef and pork business, called Tyson Fresh Meats. That position's incumbent, Jim Lochner, was promoted to chief operating officer.

Both King and White will report to Lochner.

King had been group vice president of refrigerated and deli, fowl and export sales. He joined the company in 1982 and has held positions including poultry plant manager and senior vice president of Food Service Operations.

White leaves his position as senior vice president of pork margin management to lead the pork and beef business. He became a pork sales representative with IBP Inc., now Tyson Fresh Meats, in 1983. He has held positions including vice president of pork sales and senior vice president of fresh meats sales and marketing.

Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson has been hurt by the economic downturn, as cash-conscious consumers eat less expensive food and limit trips out to restaurants. That has pulled down prices for key items like chicken breast meat, and last January Tyson tapped former CEO Tollett to restore the segment to growth.

In reporting quarterly earnings last month, the company said it made strides in the meat business this year and predicts more improvements next year. Smith's recent appointment was a sign that the company thinks its chicken business has improved.