Don Tyson Steps Down as Tyson Foods Chairman

by Arkansas Business staff  on Monday, Oct. 22, 2001 6:02 pm  

Don Tyson, who led Tyson Foods Inc. through more than three decades of growth, and who has served as senior chairman of the company since 1995, said late Monday he was stepping down as senior chairman

Tyson's departure is effective immediately. Tyson said he will remain as a member of the board of directors.

"This is just one more step in a 'progressive retirement' plan that I began in 1995 when I turned 65 and stepped down as chairman," Tyson said in a news release.

Tyson said that now that the company has completed its $4.6 billion acquisition of beef processor IBP Inc., it is time for him to relinquish the title and let the company's new management have "full control."

"I am confident that my son [Tyson president, chairman and CEO] John [Tyson], and the leadership team he has put together, are fully prepared to take the company to the next level as the premier protein provider on the planet," Don Tyson said. "I look forward to following their progress from my boat."

Don Tyson became president of Tyson in 1966, a year before his father, John Tyson Sr., the company's founder, and mother died in a car accident. At that time, Tyson had less than 2 percent of the U.S. chicken market. Don Tyson grew the Springdale-based poultry company to have 25 percent of the market.



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