The reorganization will allow the meat producer to better balance supplies with demand, including through a faster adoption of digital tools, according to Chief Financial Officer John R. Tyson. Streamlining supply chain operations — which also include areas such as logistics, manufacturing and engineering — will involve “some minor adjustments” in staffing, Tyson said in an interview.
The change is the latest in a series of measures taken by Tyson to optimize operations at a time when meat producers are struggling with high feed costs, sluggish demand and an inventory glut. Since last year, Tyson has announced the consolidation of three North American headquarters into one location in Springdale, Ark., a reduction in staff and the closure of six chicken plants.
Stewart will supervise the newly created supply chain in addition to his position overseeing fresh meats, the company said earlier by email. The executive, who joined Tyson last year from Smithfield Foods, gets a new title of president of beef, pork and chief supply chain officer starting Sept. 1.
“We expect both savings and productivity to come from making this move,” Tyson said. “We have demonstrated the willingness to make bold moves in order to get our business back to a profitability level that we would expect and that we achieved in the past.”
Tyson shares have lost more than 12% this year, trailing the average performance for companies in the S&P 500 Packaged Foods Index.
Tyson ranks No. 11 on the Transport Topics top 100 list of the largest private carriers in North America.