Bond resigns from Tyson Foods

SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Tyson Foods Inc. announced Monday that Dick Bond, president and chief executive officer, was resigning, effective immediately.

“After seven years of helping lead or leading the world’s largest meat company, I have decided it is in both my best interest personally, and the best interest of the company for me to move on and pursue other interests,” Bond said. “I have a lot of both my time and personal finances invested in Tyson Foods, so I wish the company all the best for future success.”

Meat producers, especially those in the poultry segment, have been struggling against high commodity prices last summer and weak demand. Fellow poultry producer Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December.

Tyson’s own profits have been lowered because of the poultry slowdown. The company’s chicken unit reportedly lost $118 million for the year. Tyson’s beef unit earned $106 million, while the pork unit made $45 million in the year.

Wall Street analysts had been surprised by the announcement.

“The timing was a surprise. Though we expected Mr. Bond to retire at some point this year, we did not think his departure would be so sudden," Ken Goldman, J.P. Morgan food industry analyst, said in a note to clients that was received by media outlets.

The company said that Leland Tollett, former chairman and CEO of the company, has agreed to return to the company as interim president and CEO until a permanent successor has been chosen.

Tyson shares reportedly fell 40 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $8.95 in Monday trading.


Source: Associated Press, Reuters, Tyson Foods Inc.

AMI announces staff changes

WASHINGTON – American Meat Institute (AMI) President J. Patrick Boyle announced a number of staff changes on Monday.

In the group’s department of legislative affairs, AMI Director of Legislative Affairs Dale Nellor will become vice president of legislative affairs. Nellor joined AMI in February 2006. Previously, he worked for U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), and was recently a campaign staff member for U.S. Senator-Elect Mike Johanns (R-Neb.). 

For the AMI Foundation, Dr. Betsy Booren was named director of scientific affairs. Boreen recently completed her Ph.D. in food science from Texas A&M University (TAMU). At TAMU, Booren taught courses on nutrition, food science and advanced meat science, oversaw laboratory facilities and assisted with extension programs.

In the convention services department, Senior Manager of Convention and Member Services Heather Schoch was promoted to director of convention and exposition services. Prior to joining AMI in 2007, Schoch managed conferences and trade shows at the Optical Society of America in their conventions and meetings department.

“I am confident that these new appointments and promotions will help AMI meet the many challenges before the industry,” Boyle said. “We have assembled a strong team that will allow us to better serve the needs of our members, and the industry as a whole.”


Source: American Meat Institute

Cargill acquires assets of Carneco Foods

WICHITA, Kan. – Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. (CMS) on Monday announced it has purchased certain assets of Carneco Foods LLC, including a ground beef processing plant in Columbus, Neb.

CMS purchased the Columbus facility to replace a plant in Booneville, Ark. that was destroyed by fire on March 23, 2008. Since the fire, the company has been considering several alternatives to replace the lost capacity. Because the design of the Carneco Foods plant and its product mix matches the capabilities of the Booneville facility, Cargill decided to pursue the acquisition.

 “This transaction is consistent with our strategy to deliver distinctive products that help our customers succeed,” said John O’Carrol, president of CMS’s Cargill Value Added Meats foodservice unit. “We look forward to a smooth transition as we build and foster relationships with employees, the surrounding community, customers and suppliers.”


Source: Cargill Inc.

Ruth's Hospitality announces O'Keefe's departure

HEATHROW, Fla. – Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc. on Monday announced that Thomas E. O’Keefe has resident as executive vice-president, chief legal, and compliance officer.

The company said that O’Keefe’s resignation is effective Jan. 2 and his responsibilities will be transitioned to other internal sources.

Michael O’Donnell, president and chief executive officer, said, “On behalf of the board of directors and myself, I’d like to thank Tom for his service to Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc. We certainly wish him well as he returns full time to his family and adopted hometown of New Orleans to pursue other professional and personal interests.”

Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc. owns the Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Mitchell’s Steakhouse and Cameron’s Steakhouse concepts.


Source: Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc.