UPDATE: Don Tyson Dead of Cancer at Age 80

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011 9:02 am  

Don Tyson

Don's son John Tyson joined the company's board of directors in 1984, became chairman in 1998 and became CEO in 2000. John Tyson and guided the company through the contentious $4.6 billion acquisition of beef and pork company IBP Inc.

John Tyson was chairman and CEO from 2001-06.

Don Tyson was fined $700,000 by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2005 and Tyson Foods paid $1.5 million to settle an investigation into lavish spending of company money between 1997 and 2001.

The SEC found that he used $3 million in company funds to pay for vacation properties in England and Mexico, and items that ranged from jewelry and artwork to a horse and clothing, all improperly documented in company regulatory filings.

Despite the retirements of Don and John Tyson, the Tyson family retains tight control of the company, with a 70 percent voting stake in the company, according to its latest proxy statement.

Don Tyson was inducted into the University of Arkansas Arkansas Business Hall of Fame in 2000. In May 2010, he received an honrary degree from the UA.

Today, Tyson Foods is the world's largest meat processor. 


Click here to read Don Tyson's complete obituary

Thomas Schueck, Dash Goff, Mike Beebe and others remember Don Tyson

Don Tyson, an avid fisherman whose adventures we wrote about in this 2004 cover story

Video biography of Don Tyson at the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)



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