SPRINGDALE, Ark. – The board of directors of Tyson Foods Inc. has appointed a lead independent director and a new chairman of the compensation committee. The company also established a nominating committee.

The Tyson board has appointed Jim Kever, who has been a director since 1999, to serve in two additional capacities, the company said. The former Envoy Corporation CEO and founder of an investment partnership, he has assumed the newly-established position of lead independent director. This means he will preside over sessions where independent directors meet outside the presence of insiders or company management.

The board also appointed Kevin M. McNamara to serve as chairman of its compensation committee, Tyson said. McNamara is executive vice president, CFO and treasurer of HealthSpring, Inc. and joined the board in 2007.

The newly-created Nominating Committee, to be composed entirely of independent directors, will consist of Kever, Albert C. Zapanta, and Jo Ann R. Smith, who will serve as the chairperson. They will be responsible for identifying qualified candidates to serve as directors, a task previously handled by the entire board, the company said.