- Tyson Foods will eliminate 10% of its corporate roles and 15% of its senior leadership positions, according to a letter to employees Wednesday from CEO Donnie King that was shared with Food Dive. Tyson did not specify how many positions the layoffs will impact. The affected employees will be notified this week, the letter said.
- The meat company also is reorganizing its workforce. Automation operations will move to Tyson’s engineering team and sales activities will be placed under its “businesses and growth” team.
- Tyson said the decision is the latest step by the meat processing giant to boost efficiency. It has struggled with its production in recent years amid fluctuating supply and demand.
Tyson’s layoffs are the culmination of a challenging period for the company, as it shifts its priorities in a bid to boost productivity.
“While we have made progress on our strategy, fully realizing the opportunity ahead requires continuing to align our business and our priorities to enable long-term success of the enterprise,” King said in the internal letter announcing the reorganization.
In its most recent earnings announced in February, Tyson posted a 70% year-over-year decline in earnings per share as beef and pork sales fell. At the time, King said the Arkansas-based company was hit by a glut of protein on the market and higher cattle prices, among other challenges.
Tyson’s corporate workforce has faced other changes in the last year. In October, the beef, pork and poultry processor announced that it would close its offices in Illinois and South Dakota, giving 1,000 employees the opportunity to relocate to its Springdale, Arkansas headquarters. King said this would allow the company to increase collaboration among its workers.
Last summer, Tyson announced plans to implement aggressive strategies to improve chicken production efficiency, including worker retention programs. On the manufacturing side, King also said in a quarterly earnings call last November that Tyson would be cutting “laborious, difficult, high turnover” positions in order to increase its use of automation.
Tyson employed approximately 124,000 workers in the U.S., with roughly 6,000 of them corporate employees, according to an SEC filing from October.
Tyson also announced in March that it will be closing two broiler and hatching plants this spring — in Glen Allen, Virginia and Van Buren, Arkansas — which will result in the loss of 1,700 manufacturing jobs. The decisions were made in order to optimize its poultry operations, company spokesperson Derek Burleson told Food Dive at the time.