News in brief

Tyson's tech chief,

Spradley, makes exit

Scott Spradley, Tyson Foods' executive vice president, chief technology and automation office, has left the company, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange commission.

Spradley has been with Tyson since 2017 as its chief technology officer. He earned $4 million for 2022, according to the company's most recent proxy statement. In recent years, Tyson has invested millions of dollars to automate its plants.

Tyson spokesman Derek Burleson confirmed Tuesday Spradley is no longer with the company. He said, Danyel Bischof-Forsyth, vice president information technology for Poultry & Prepared Foods, and Doug Kulka, vice president information technology for Delivery as a Service, will serve as interim leaders for the IT team.

"We remain focused on designing our IT and digital functions for the future by elevating technology and automation across the enterprise as OneTyson," Burleson said.

Tyson expects to enter into a separation agreement and general release with Spradley, the filing said. It notes if those conditions are met, Spradley will receive payments and benefits including $1.4 million and a lump sum payment of $211,538.

-- John Magsam

J.B. Hunt, Wabash

reach trailer deal

Trailer producer Wabash said Tuesday it has reached a "long-term" agreement with Lowell-based J.B. Hunt Transport Inc.

The deal is multiyear, according to a news release by Wabash, but an email requesting details from Wabash was not returned Tuesday afternoon. J.B. Hunt declined comment.

"The trailers provided by Wabash over the next few years will help us expand capacity available for services like private fleet outsourcing and drop-and-hook freight," Nick Hobbs, chief operating officer and president of contract services at J.B. Hunt, said in the release. "With an additional 15,000-plus trailers, we can improve the efficiency of our equipment so that assets are in the right place at the right time for available drivers."

Indiana-based Wabash designs, builds and services dry freight and refrigerated trailers, flatbed trailers, tank trailers as well as dry and refrigerated truck bodies, according to the company.

-- John Magsam

Index up to 785.45

after gaining 5.68

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Tuesday at 785.45, up 5.68.

"Investors hoping for this week's consumer price index report showing some softness, pushed stocks higher on Tuesday, despite comments from Federal Reserve officials saying it's too early to declare victory over inflation," said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.