Tyson Foods Inc.'s next chief executive officer will be selected from the Springdale, Ark.-based company's internal pool of management -- and hopefully that will be sooner than later, said interim leader Leland Tollett.
Tollett, 71, was named interim president and CEO last week following a sudden departure by Richard Bond. Affiliated with Tyson since 1959, Tollett served as CEO from 1991 to 1998. He also served on Tyson's board of directors from 1984 to early 2008.
"While we would like to select a new CEO quickly, we plan to take all of the time necessary to ensure we have chosen the best candidate to lead this great company," he said. "I don't know if I will be in this interim position for three months or three years, however, I hope it's closer to three months."
Tollett said he supports Tyson's key strategies of developing new products, improving operational efficiencies, continuing international expansion and adding value to by-products. He noted that Tyson's beef and pork businesses -- along with the company's international and renewable products divisions -- are all healthy and that he will devote his time to returning the company's flagship poultry business (which lost money in fiscal 2008) to profitability.