Tyson Foods announced on Monday that its president and chief executive officer Tom Hayes will step down at the end of September for “personal reasons.”  Tyson’s board of directors said its group president of beef, pork, and international divisions Noel White will succeed Hayes.Hayes took the helm in June 2016 after CEO Donnie Smith stepped down.  Hayes made significant changes to Tyson’s product portfolio and overall strategy.  He also launched a campaign to stop the use of antibiotics in a majority of the company’s poultry as a result of consumer demand and transparency.

In 2016, Hayes announced the company’s decision to take a 5-percent stake in plant-based protein Beyond Meat, which he thought would play a big part of food industry’s future.  He also launched a venture capital fund worth $150 million for startups that develop meat substitutes.

Gary Mickelson, Tyson spokesman, did not elaborate on Hayes’ resignation, but said “there are no issues of personal conduct or integrity.”

Hayes joined Tyson Foods in 20154 with its acquisition of Chicago-based Hillshire Brand Co., where he was supply chain officer.  In 2016, Hayes was appointed first president and then CEO of Tyson Foods.  “It is a very difficult decision to leave Tyson Foods, but after careful consideration and discussion with my family and the board, I know it is the right thing to do,” Hayes said in a statement.

The company said Noel White had been with Tyson since 2001, when it acquired beef and pork producer IBP, where White had worked since 1983.  He previously served as chief operations office and president of poultry.

John Tyson, chairman of the board of directors and grandson of the company’s founder, said the board has “the utmost confidence” in White, who said he was “honored” by the appointment. “Noel is a proven leader who has played an integral role in our enterprise leadership team for many years,”  John Tyson said. “His deep institutional knowledge and a stellar track record over his more than 30-year career at Tyson Foods gives the board the utmost confidence in his ability to drive the business forward, accelerate global growth and create long-term value for shareholders.”