Tyson Foods has announced in its third quarter results that its CEO Noel White is stepping down and will be succeeded by executive Dean Banks, effective 3 October.

Banks was appointed president of Tyson Foods last year, joining the company’s leadership team from X, an Alphabet Inc. company. He will continue to maintain the role of president, while White will remain with the company in a new role as executive vice chairman.

In what White has described as the “most volatile and uncertain periods” during his time in the industry, Tyson Foods posted a 7.9% decrease in third-quarter net revenue to $10.02 billion. Operating income was $775 million compared to $781 million last year.

Sales volume decreased across all of Tyson Foods’ segments due to lower production throughput associated with the impact of Covid-19.

However, the quarter was led by strength in its beef and pork segments. While its beef volume was down 23.8% and pork volume down by 16.5%, the company continued to see increased demand and witnessed its operating profit in those segments rise.

In the three months ended 27 June, chicken volume was down 4.2% and prepared foods volume fell by 6% due to reductions in the foodservice channel.

The company reiterated that each of its segments experienced a shift in demand from foodservice to retail, but volumes were not sufficient to offset the losses in foodservice. As a result, Tyson Foods expects decreases in volumes in the last quarter of fiscal 2020 in its chicken and prepared foods segments.

The owner of brands such as Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farm also said its results were negatively impacted by approximately $340 million of direct incremental expenses related to Covid-19, including costs for PPE, sanitising, testing, donations and bonuses.

Noel White, Tyson Foods’ CEO, said: “Within each of our segments, we absorbed higher-than-normal operating costs related to Covid-19. Nonetheless, Tyson delivered strong results during the third quarter led by strength in our beef and pork segments.

“Despite short-term challenges, we’re maintaining a clear focus on the long term. Our fourth quarter is off to a solid start, and while Covid-19 has been disruptive, we have a strong long-term outlook for Tyson Foods.”