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Tyson Foods names new CEO

Dean Banks steps into the role previously held by Noel White

Tyson Foods president Dean Banks just added CEO to his title.

The former Google executive, who joined Tyson Foods as a director in 2017 and was promoted to president in 2019, will maintain both roles effective Oct. 3. Banks succeeds CEO Noel White, who steps into the newly created role of executive vice chairman of the board of directors.

Prior to joining Tyson Foods, Banks was part of the leadership team at X (formerly Google X). He also held positions at tech companies SEED Ventures, IntraCelluar Technologies and Cleveland Clinic Innovations.

“It’s clear to the board that Dean’s impressive background in entrepreneurship, technology, and the healthcare industry make him ideally suited to lead Tyson in its efforts to integrate advanced technologies into our operations and further our focus on team member health and safety,” said John Tyson, Chairman of the Board of Tyson Foods, in a press release.

During an earnings call on Monday, the Springdale, Arkansas-based company, which processes about 20% of all beef, pork and chicken in the U.S., reported a 22% decline in its third-quarter profit due to COVID-19-related expenses. The company said it spent US$340 million on safety equipment, plant shutdowns and pay increases.

It recently announced it would randomly test employees who have no symptoms, as well as those with symptoms. Workers will also be tested if they were near someone who tested positive or displayed symptoms.

These tests are in addition to daily health screenings when workers arrive at Tyson's 140 U.S. production facilities, the company said.

Tyson said it would add nearly 200 nurses to its 400-person medical team to conduct the tests. It's also hiring a chief medical officer. The company declined to comment on how much these safety measures would cost the company.

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