Tyson Foods has named Donnie Smith president/CEO and Jim Lochner COO. Smith is currently senior group vice president of Poultry and Prepared Foods while Lochner is senior group vice president of Fresh Meats. Leland Tollett, who has been serving as interim president and CEO of the company since January, will continue in the coming months to assist Smith and Lochner in the transition, and he will be available for strategic advice and support.
Smith, 50, joined Tyson in 1980 and moved to the corporate headquarters in Springdale, AR, seven years later to join the Tyson commodities purchasing group. Since then, he has had various leadership roles in the company, including Purchasing; Environmental, Health and Safety; Food Safety and Quality Assurance; Manufacturing Services; Information Systems; and Logistics, before becoming senior group vice president of Poultry and Prepared Foods.
Lochner, 57, joined IBP, Inc., later purchased by Tyson, in 1983 as director of research. Previously, he was a quality control food technologist at Oscar Mayer Foods and a laboratory technician at the University of Wisconsin. In his first 14 years at IBP, Lochner held several different officer positions in various quality control and technical services areas. He became executive vice president of IBP in 1997, responsible for all of IBP's beef and pork plants. In 2000, he was promoted to president/CEO. After Tyson Foods acquired IBP in 2001, he was named group vice president of Tyson Fresh Meats. He was then named Tyson Foods' senior group vice president of Margin Optimization in 2005 before becoming senior group vice president of Fresh Meats in 2007.