Tyson Foods has appointed John R. Tyson as chief sustainability officer, effective immediately.
He will report to Noel White, president and CEO of Tyson Foods.
Justin Whitmore, who has been serving as Tyson Foods’ chief sustainability officer since 2017, will now turn his full attention to leading Tyson Foods’ growing alternative protein business.
Tyson will lead Tyson Foods’ efforts to support a more sustainable food system. This includes driving improvement by implementing the company’s sustainability strategy and commitments as well as managing the sustainability, animal welfare, environmental and social responsibility teams.
“I am excited to play a role in leading our company’s sustainability efforts,” said John R. Tyson. “Taking care of our people and our planet is a priority for Tyson Foods. We are uniquely positioned to lead within the global food system, and therefore we must continue challenging ourselves to be stewards of our natural resources while striving to feed the world safely, affordably and with delicious food.”
“John has a passion for sustainability as well as the leadership skills to help continue the momentum we’ve built,” said Noel White. “He cares deeply about the people of this company, understands the strategic growth opportunities in sustainable protein, and recognizes the importance of our enterprise-wide sustainability commitments.”
Tyson Foods, according to a press release from the company, has made some bold sustainability commitments in recent years, as reflected in its sustainability progress report. The company worked with the World Resources Institute to set a science-based target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030 and has partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund on increasing sustainable farming practices on more than 2 million acres of corn by 2020. In addition, the company employs the largest team of animal welfare specialists in the industry and launched Upward Academy, an educational program that provides on-site life skill training classes for frontline workers.
John R. Tyson is a fourth generation Tyson family member who recently joined Tyson Foods and, over the past five years, has been an observer at the company’s board of directors’ meetings. He is also currently a lecturer at the Sam M. Walton School of Business at the University of Arkansas. Tyson has a Bachelors’ Degree in Economics from Harvard University and a Master of Business Administration Degree from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
He previously worked in investment banking for J.P. Morgan and as a private equity and venture capital investor.