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Tyson Foods CFO John R. Tyson Arrested on DWI Charge

2 min read

Tyson Foods CFO John R. Tyson was arrested in Fayetteville early Thursday on a charge of driving while intoxicated, his second arrest since 2022.

Washington County jail records show that Tyson, 34, was arrested by University of Arkansas police and booked at 1:32 a.m. He was released on bond at 10:41 a.m.

Tyson also faces charges of careless driving and making an improper turn/U-turn. His first court appearance was scheduled for Friday morning.

In a statement, Tyson Foods said that Tyson had been suspended and Curt Calaway had been named interim CFO.

Tyson is the son of former CEO and current Chairman of the Board John H. Tyson, whose grandfather founded Tyson Foods.

According to a police report obtained by Arkansas Business news partner KFSM, Tyson was driving an SUV near Maple Street and Leverett Avenue and appeared to be going over the speed limit before he made an improper turn and struck a curb.

The report said that Tyson had a “strong odor of intoxicants.” He told officers that he was coming from his sister’s wedding and, “If I get into trouble tonight and go to bed it will ruin the rest of my life.”

Tyson told police that he didn’t have anything to drink at the wedding, but his passenger, a woman, said he did have multiple drinks. When an officer asked Tyson if he would perform field sobriety tests, Tyson replied that it “would literally ruin his life,” the report said.

Tyson eventually agreed to perform the sobriety tests. Once completed, he told the officer that he had about six or seven drinks and that he had actually come from Dickson Street. His blood alcohol content later tested at .191, more than twice the legal limit of .08.

John R. Tyson joined his family’s company as chief sustainability officer in 2019 and was promoted to CFO in September 2022.

He was arrested in November 2022 on misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and criminal trespassing. A woman told police she came home and found an unknown man, later identified as Tyson, asleep in her bed. Police said Tyson smelled of alcohol and showed other signs of intoxication.

Tyson pleaded guilty to the charges in January 2023 and was ordered to pay $440 — $150 fines for each offense, $100 in court costs and $40 in county fees. He apologized for his actions during a conference call with industry analysts Nov. 14, saying he was “embarrassed” and took “full responsibility.” He said the incident was contrary to the company’s and his values.

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