Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark., completed its merger with The Hillshire Brands Co., Chicago.

The combination of Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands creates a single company with more than $40 billion in annual sales and a portfolio that includes brands such as Tyson, Wright, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, State Fair and Hillshire Farm.  

“As of today, Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands are officially together in one great company,” says Donnie Smith, chief executive officer for Tyson Foods. “Part of our strategic growth plan has been to shift toward higher-margin prepared and branded foods. This transaction gives us a portfolio of complementary proven brands as a new springboard, and accomplishes in a short time what would have taken us years to build on our own.”  

As a result, Tyson selected a new leadership team that includes a mix of existing senior leaders from both Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands.

Andy Callahan, former president of Hillshire’s retail business, will manage all retail consumer brands, including Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, Sara Lee, Tyson frozen, value-added poultry and Wright brand bacon along with Hillshire’s Gourmet Food Group.

Sally Grimes, former chief innovation officer and president of Hillshire’s Gourmet Food Group, will lead Tyson’s innovation (including research and development), sales and global brand strategy teams to support all products sold through retail channels and maximize global growth.

Donnie King, former president of prepared foods, customer and consumer solutions for Tyson Foods, will oversee Tyson’s poultry, fresh meats and non-branded prepared foods businesses as well as the combined Tyson Foods and Hillshire foodservice businesses. Those reporting to him include Steve Stouffer who will lead fresh meats; Noel White who will lead poultry; Wes Morris who will lead prepared foods operations; and Tom Hayes, currently chief supply chain officer for Hillshire Brands, who will lead the combined Tyson and Hillshire foodservice businesses.

Ken Kimbro, who has led Tyson Foods’ human resources functions since 2001, will be transitioning into retirement. He will be replaced by Mary Oleksiuk, former chief human resources officer for Hillshire Brands.

Malik Sadiq, senior vice president-Asia Pacific, will oversee Tyson International on an interim basis. He takes the place of James Young, who will be transitioning to the Cobb-Vantress breeding stock subsidiary in the coming months.

Sean Connolly, former president and CEO of Hillshire Brands, is resigning to pursue other interests.