Tyson Foods is to axe a chunk of corporate and executive jobs as part of efforts to make the US meat giant more efficient.

The company, home to brands including Hillshire Farm and Jimmy Dean, is planning to cut around “15% of senior leadership roles and 10% of corporate roles”, CEO Donnie King said in a memo seen by Just Food.

Talks with the majority of affected staff will start this week, King noted.

“This is not an easy day and we recognise it will be difficult for our team members. While this will require time to process, these decisions are necessary to continue executing our long-term strategy and over time will make Tyson Foods stronger,” he said.

In February, the company reported a 68% slump in first-quarter operating income as larger-than-expected beef and pork supplies weakened demand for its chicken.

At the time, Tyson Foods admitted it had got its forecast on demand for meat wrong.

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By GlobalData

Speaking to analysts when the company released the results, which covered the three months to 31 December, described the period as a “very challenging quarter” with “market swings across all businesses [that] were unpredictable and sizeable”.

He said: “This is the first time I’ve seen all markets work against us all at the same time.

“There are some places where we need to make decisions faster and, in some cases, better decisions. In some cases, we will need to adjust our business model. And in other cases, the accuracy of our projections has to be better than what we’ve demonstrated here in Q1.”

However, the company says the planned job cuts are part of a long-term strategy to make the business more efficient and agile.

Last month, Tyson Foods announced plans to shut two US poultry facilities, moves that could lead to the loss of more than 1,600 jobs.

Separately, Tyson Foods announced plans in October to close three corporate locations – two in Chicago and one in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, employing around 1,000 people. An offer was made to those workers to shift to Springdale, Arkansas. However, a report emerged in December that a majority of staff at those locations were unwilling to move to other facilities.

In late 2021, the company said it was looking to make $1bn in productivity savings by the end of its 2024 fiscal year, relative to a fiscal 2021 cost baseline. It also announced plans to invest more than US$1bn in automation across its plants over the next three years to reduce “labour-intensive processes”.

“For the past several years, we have had a bold and aggressive change agenda in place at Tyson Foods,” King said today.

“We have taken significant steps to execute this strategy and invest in our future. Our decisions have been centred on organisational efficiency and agility, driving faster, prioritised decision-making, and investing in technology and digitalisation for our team members and customers.”