Tyson Foods Inc. announced Nov. 7 that its board of directors has named independent director Dean Banks president of the company, effective Dec. 20, 2019. Noel White, currently president and chief executive officer, will continue as CEO, Tyson said.
In his new role, Banks will report to White and oversee the company’s business segments. Banks will remain a member of the Tyson Foods board and will be considered a non‐independent director.
The company said Banks brings deep leadership experience and a background in entrepreneurship, innovation and technology. He joins the Tyson Foods enterprise leadership team from X, an Alphabet Inc. company (formerly known as Google [x]), where he has been a member of the leadership team since 2016 and started and led multiple projects.
“I have gotten to know Dean well over the past several years, particularly during his two years on our board, where he has demonstrated that he is a thoughtful leader who respects and appreciates the historical Tyson Foods culture,” said John Tyson, chairman of the board of directors. “As the board reflected on its talent acquisition and development pipeline, it became apparent, given Dean’s strong cultural fit with our organization and unique leadership experience and background in innovation and technology, that we could benefit from his distinctive abilities and personality on our enterprise leadership team.”
White said, “At a time of unprecedented change in the protein industry, we’re focused on capitalizing on our diversified business model and innovation to execute our growth strategy. As we increasingly integrate advanced technologies into our operations, we’re pleased to add a leader of Dean’s caliber to our leadership team.”
White said Banks’ keen understanding of Tyson’s business and his deep knowledge of the technologies and innovations “can help unlock opportunities now and in the future.”
Banks joined the board of Tyson in 2017 and serves on two committees: the Governance & Nominating Committee and the Strategy & Acquisitions Committee. He also serves on the board of biotechnology company Vergent Bioscience, which develops molecular imaging probes for life science research and development, where he was previously CEO.
Banks was also previously managing partner of SEED Ventures, a group investing in and developing early-stage health care technologies. He also has served as a consultant to Cleveland Clinic Innovations, as CEO of Occelerator, senior vice president of business development and strategic marketing at OrthoHelix, co‐founder and CEO of Connective Orthopedics and vice president of Highland Capital Partners.
He is a former platoon sergeant and squad leader in the U.S. Marine Corps. Dean has a bachelor of arts in marketing and public relations from Miami University and a master of business administration from Harvard Business School.
“Dean brings a unique skillset and broad experience – including serving as a Marine, an entrepreneur, a startup investor and a technologist – that will augment our next generation of leadership as it shapes the future of our company,” Tyson said.