Tyson Chief Exits Stage Left

Shares in Tyson Foods Inc. fell 6 percent to $8.79 Monday after the world's largest meat producer said it's Chief Executive Officer Dickie Bond is leaving the company, effective immediately.

Bond, 61, had been president and CEO since May 2006 and had been a member of the board since 2001.

Tyson was hurt by wildly fluctuating feed prices in 2008, but analysts expected that it was better placed than most of it's rivals, such as Pilgrim's Pride Corp., by virtue of it's more diverse nature, to weather the current economic storm.

Pilgrim's Pride, the largest US chicken producer, was forced to file for Chapter-11 bankruptcy protection at the beginning of last month.

Despite the turmoil in the markets and plunging profits from it's poultry interests Tyson has hitherto steadfastly refused to cut production at it's US facilities.

Leland Tollett, 71, who was Tyson chairman and CEO from 1995 to 1998, will return as president and CEO on an interim basis until a successor to Bond is chosen, the company said.