Tyson Foods, Inc.
Former Chief Executive Officer
The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) is pleased to announce that Donnie Smith, former Chief Executive Officer with Tyson Foods, Inc., will be the opening keynote speaker at the AMSA 70th Reciprocal Meat Conference (RMC), on Monday, June 19th. With Smith’s passion for leadership and his focus on feeding the world, he will engage RMC attendees as he discusses “Doing What’s Right,” and the positive influence it can have not only on meat science and the meat industry, but also on positively affecting the lives of people around the world.
Throughout his 36-year career in the food business, Smith worked to learn every aspect of Tyson Foods’ business. He joined the company in 1980, working in poultry operations for seven years in Tennessee before moving to the company’s headquarters in Springdale, Ark., where he started as a commodity buyer. He was named director of commodity purchasing in 1991 and during the next several years added complementary responsibilities to his management portfolio: logistics, purchasing and information systems in 2006; and engineering, food safety and quality assurance, and environmental health and safety in 2007. Smith moved into the company’s consumer products division in 2008 and was named senior group vice president of poultry and prepared foods in early 2009; the same year he was appointed president and CEO.
As president and CEO of Tyson Foods from 2009 to 2016, Smith led the company to focus on feeding the world innovative, high-quality, food, while also making a positive difference in people’s lives. Under his leadership, Tyson Foods achieved four straight years of record profits, multiplying stock value six times in seven years. He now serves as a consultant for Tyson Foods, while also focusing on his continued work to feed the world. Smith and his wife Terry are native Tennesseans and have three children and one grandchild.
Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and continues to be involved in his alma mater.