Tyson creates new position to help integrate acquisitions
- Following its acquisition of AdvancePierre Foods earlier this month, Tyson has appointed George Chappelle, the company's chief operating officer, as its new chief integration officer, the company said in a statement.
- In this role, Chappelle will support acquisitions that help drive the company’s strategic growth as well as manage the food company’s Integration Management Office to find cost synergies across the companies. He also will oversee AdvancePierre's operations.
- “George’s experience and leadership will be valuable as we bring these two companies together and work to generate cost synergy benefits of $200 million within three years,” Tom Hayes, Tyson's president and CEO, said in a press release.
Analysts say that considering current trends and available capital, 2017 will be one the biggest years yet for mergers and acquisitions. “With the economy and the food business, the past 18 months … has probably been the most tumultuous I’ve seen in decades,” Brian Todd, president and CEO of The Food Institute, told Food Dive. This upswing in M&A activity in the food and beverage industry signals that more companies could be adding integration and growth specialists to the c-suite moving forward.
As the meat giant eyes more acquisitions, Tyson is smart to elevate the former COO of the newly acquired AdvancePierre to be its chief integration officer with the job of keeping an eye out for new deals and synergies. While Tyson isn’t the only company moving in this direction, it is one of the largest and most influential to introduce the chief integration officer title.
Whether or not a formal role is created within their corporate structure, other companies — particularly those on the acquisition hunt — must include integration and transformation among the duties of their top executives. In May alone, there were 59 mergers and acquisitions globally across the food and drink industry recorded by bevblog.net in May, according to FoodBev Media. All the deals were less than $500 million in value.
One example is TreeHouse Foods, which recently named transformation expert Robert Aiken, Jr. as its new COO. "(Bob’s) background… will prove instrumental as we complete the integration of the private brands business," said Sam Reed, chairman and CEO of TreeHouse Foods. "He has a clear track record of driving margin expansion through a relentless focus on productivity and cost improvement in the face of industry change."
With so many food companies considering mergers and acquisitions as a growth strategy, adding integration officers to manage the change — and find synergies and cost-savings — makes a lot of sense.
- Tyson Foods Tyson Foods Selects Chief Integration Officer
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