Update: New CIO for Tyson

Jeri Dunn, formerly the vice president and CIO of Nestle USA, has left the world’s largest food manufacturer to become the first senior vice president and CIO of Tyson Foods, the world’s largest processor of beef, poultry and pork.

Dunn, who spent 11 years at Nestle, takes on the top IT post and will report directly to CEO John Tyson.

Dunn’s most immediate challenges will be consolidating Tyson’s internal information systems from 16 to two—one focused on all aspects of getting fresh meat to market and the other for everything else. She will also oversee the integration of disparate IT systems from Tyson’s $3.2 billion merger with IBP and the expansion of the company’s electronic exchange with EFS Network.

Tyson hopes to eventually conduct all of its transactions with distributors electronically and interact with between 60 percent and 70 percent of its distributors online through the electronic exchange.

“We’re confident that Jeri Dunn’s extensive experience will be invaluable as we continue to use information as one of our key competitive advantages, further separating us from our competition,” Tyson said in a prepared release.

The abrupt departure from Nestle USA comes just as the company is trying to complete an extensive enterprise resource planning software installation with SAP—a project that began in 1997 and so far has cost more than $200 million. Nestle USA officials say the project should be completed by the first quarter of 2003.

“Jeri has taken another opportunity elsewhere,” says Laurie MacDonald, a spokeswoman for Nestle USA. “We really can’t comment on anything other than she’s voluntarily left to take another position (outside the company).”

Dunn was not immediately available to comment on her new position.

Tyson Foods reported sales of more than $10 billion in fiscal 2001.