President and Chief Executive Officer
Tom Hayes is a recognized innovator and decorated executive in the food industry who has guided some of the world’s most well-known brands over the past three decades. As Ocean Spray’s President and CEO, he now leads the world's leading producer of cranberry juices, juice drinks and dried cranberries, and oversees our global organization of more than 700 grower owners and 2,000 employees. Tom comes to Ocean Spray as our cooperative nears its centennial and is focused on ensuring the company is positioned for another 100 years of success.
“For everyone like me who grew up in New England, the Ocean Spray name is not just a global brand – it’s part of our culture. The heritage of the company and its 700 farmer owners is one to be celebrated and shared across the world, and I want to ensure it is protected and positioned to grow for a long time to come.”
Tom has played a substantial role in guiding the food industry toward innovation, sustainability, and positive growth throughout his career. As the former president and CEO of Tyson Foods, he led the largest food company in the U.S. with $40 billion in sales and 122,000 employees, introducing a new corporate brand, purpose, global growth strategy and approach to sustainability. While at Tyson, Tom also led popular consumer brands including Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm® and Ball Park®.
Prior to leading Tyson, Tom was the Chief Supply Chain Officer at Hillshire Brands and Sara Lee and held significant leadership roles at US Foods, ConAgra, and Kraft. Most recently, Tom was a partner at Entrepreneurial Equity Partners (e2p), a private equity firm that invests in middle market companies in the food industry. A native of southern New Hampshire, Tom earned a BA from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from Northwestern University.
“As Ocean Spray approaches its centennial, we are presented with an extraordinary opportunity to look toward the future, tackle new challenges, and ensure that this cooperative will succeed for another hundred years. We are going to grow together so we can win together.”