Dean Banks has yet to begin in his role as CEO of Tyson Foods, but he is already being asked about what he thinks the company will be like when he retires.

Banks, who on December 20, 2019, became the president of Tyson Foods, will soon also have the duties as the company’s CEO. Tyson announced on August 3 that Banks will succeed Noel White as the CEO, effective October 3.

Later that morning, during a quarterly earnings call, J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman asked the following question: “If we’re on a similar call like this 10 or 20 years from now, (and) you’re retiring, what do you want to be known for? What are the biggest changes do you want to see at Tyson?”

That’s no easy question. Goldman was essentially asking Banks to be Nostradamus.

After all, who would have known ten years ago Tyson Foods would have entered the plant-based protein sector, that all Tyson branded chicken would be raised without antibiotics, or that the company would have a strong international presence through the acquisition of Keystone Foods and BRF assets?

But Banks, who has already been working on the Tyson Foods strategy and acquisitions committee, gave a pretty solid answer. He said he and others have been working “to make sure that we’ve got a long-term perspective on the business,” that will lead Tyson to long-term growth, among other things.

“So, it’s 20 or 30 years down the road. We know we’re going to have a few more billion people on the planet and we’re going to make sure that we can provide food for them and do it in a sustainable way,” said Banks. “And given Tyson’s balanced portfolio or investments in alternative proteins and our global footprint, we’re confident that we can really take a bold position in doing that.”

I hope Banks and the Tyson Foods team can reach those goals. I wish him well in his future endeavors. At the same time, I salute White, the present CEO, for his work in various capacities for Tyson Foods since he joined the company through the 2001 IBP acquisition, and wish him well in his upcoming role as executive vice chairman of the Tyson Foods board of directors.