The world’s largest meat producer is looking for a new chief executive after Tyson Foods’ current boss, Dick Bond, announced his resignation from the group.

Bond is stepping down form he helm immediately, with former chief executive and chairman Leland Tollett set to take up the reins once again on an interim basis while the search for a permanent replacement begins.

The exit of Bond, who has led the meat producer since 2006 and was contracted until next December, prompted shares in the company to drop by around 6% yesterday.

Last year profits at Tyson fell by more than two-thirds (68%) to just $86m, down from $268m in 2007, as the industry wrestled with the soaring cost of animal feed.

That dip in performance came despite a rise in overall sales from $25.7bn in 2007 to a new mark of to $26.9bn.

“After seven years of helping lead or leading the world's largest meat company, I have decided it is in both my best interest personally and the best interest of the company for me to move on and pursue other interests,” said Bond in a statement.

“I have a lot of both my time and personal finances invested in Tyson Foods, so I wish the company all the best for future success.”