Tyson Foods CEO Donnie King said the company is eliminating “laborious, difficult, high turnover” jobs on the company’s quarterly earnings call Monday, but did not specify how many.
The meat giant has seen quicker than anticipated progression of its automation efforts, King said. Workers whose jobs are cut would be reassigned to other open positions in the company, he said.
Earlier this year, Tyson announced the implementation of aggressive strategies to improve volumes of meat products to meet higher demand. These included increased automation, specifically for the difficult task of chicken deboning.
The strategy helped the company meet demand in the last quarter as it became better equipped to handle supply issues. Tyson reported chicken volumes rose 1.1% year-over-year in the last quarter and beef volumes increased by 5.1%. Pork volumes decreased by 1.1% compared to the previous year, due to a lower supply of hogs and declining export demand, King said. Prepared foods volumes were flat in the quarter.
Fiscal year 2022 sales were $53.28 billion, which the company said was record breaking and beat analyst predictions. King said improving on-shelf availability for its products in the last quarter allowed the company to meet demand.
“This is supporting improved volume performance across our portfolio of prepared foods products as we are continuing to see price elasticities remain below historical levels,” King said.
The company’s corporate structure has come under scrutiny from legal analysts in recent months after John R. Tyson, son of the company’s chairman, became CFO. It was further complicated last week when Tyson was arrested on charges of trespassing and public intoxication in Arkansas.
On the earnings call, Tyson apologized to investors for his actions, stating that they are “inconsistent with our company values, as well as my personal values.”
King said the company’s independent board of directors is “overseeing a thorough review of this matter,” but answered no further questions.