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Tyson Foods to Close Chicago, South Dakota Offices, Relocate Employees


Tyson Foods Inc.

TSN -0.89%

is closing several of its corporate offices across the country as rising costs pressure the meat giant’s bottom line after two years of soaring profit margins.

Tyson said Wednesday that it is closing offices in Chicago, Downers Grove, Ill., and Dakota Dunes, S.D., which currently house many of its prepared-foods and beef-division employees. Employees will be given the chance to relocate to the company’s Springdale, Ark., headquarters in early 2023. Roughly 1,000 employees work in the two Illinois offices and the Dakota Dunes location, the company said.

“Bringing our talented corporate team members and businesses together under one roof unlocks greater opportunities to share perspectives and ideas, while also enabling us to act quickly to solve problems,” said Tyson Chief Executive Officer

Donnie King.

The move comes a week after Tyson, the largest U.S. meat supplier in terms of sales, overhauled its management team, shifting executives into new roles heading finance, commercial operations and prepared foods. The moves included appointing

John R. Tyson,

the 32-year-old great-grandson of the company’s founder, as chief financial officer.

Tyson’s beef division, which slaughters thousands of cattle each week, had been run out of Dakota Dunes since Tyson acquired meatpacker IBP Inc. for more than $3 billion in 2001. The business had reported soaring profit margins over the past two years, as short-staffed plants constrained production while strong consumer demand helped push meat prices higher.

Tyson’s prepared-foods division has been run out of Chicago since the company’s 2014 deal to acquire Hillshire Brands, maker of Jimmy Dean sausage and Ball Park hot dogs. Tyson said last week that

Noelle O’Mara,

the head of its prepared-foods division, had departed the company, and that

Stewart Glendinning,

the company’s chief financial officer since 2017, will take over the role.

After years of operating in Illinois, three major companies—Boeing, Caterpillar and Citadel—are moving their headquarters out of the state. WSJ looks at the economic and political implications. Photo Illustration: Laura Kammermann

Nearly 40% of Tyson’s $47 billion in fiscal 2021 sales came from its beef business, while almost 20% came from its prepared-foods segment, according to its latest annual securities filing.

Shares of Tyson fell about 2% during trading Wednesday, and the stock is down about 24% so far this year. Profits have come under pressure in recent months as consumer demand softens and as cattle herds shrink, raising the prices meatpackers pay to ranchers for livestock.

Sales volumes for Tyson’s prepared-foods business fell nearly 9% in its most recent quarter, compared with the same period a year earlier, and ticked up 1% in its beef segment. Tyson’s overall net income for its most recent quarter was flat compared with a year earlier, and its revenue increased to $13.5 billion, though volumes declined 2%.

Tyson joins several other major employers in moving corporate offices out of Illinois in recent months. Billionaire

Ken Griffin

is relocating his hedge fund firm Citadel from Chicago to Miami, while equipment manufacturer

Caterpillar Inc.

said it would move from its longtime Illinois base to Texas. In May,

Boeing Co.

said it would move its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Va., partly to be closer to top federal officials.

McDonald’s Corp.

, meanwhile, has said it intends to stay in Chicago and will create a new innovation center next to its city headquarters. As part of plans to break up its business into three companies,

Kellogg Co.

said earlier this year that its global snacking business would be based in Chicago, with a second corporate campus in Battle Creek, Mich.

Write to Patrick Thomas at [email protected]

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