Tyson CFO suspended after DWI arrest

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 62 views 

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John R. Tyson, Tyson Foods chief financial officer, again finds himself on the wrong side of the law after being arrested by the University of Arkansas police early Thursday (June 13) morning for DWI and careless driving.

The Springdale-based global meat processing, distribution, and marketing company issued this statement on Thursday (June 13): “We ware aware that John Randal Tyson, Chief Financial Officer of Tyson Foods, was arrested for an alleged DWI. Tyson Foods has suspended Mr. Tyson from his duties effective immediately and named Curt Calaway as interim Chief Financial Officer.”

Calaway is a senior vice president and treasurer of Tyson Foods who was first hired by the company in June 2006. Prior to that he was with the accounting firm PwC for 11 years.

John R. Tyson, 34, the great grandson of company founder John W. Tyson and son of board chairman John H. Tyson, became the chief financial officer for Tyson Foods in October 2022. The following month, Fayetteville police arrested him on misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and criminal trespass.

Police arrested him after a woman found him asleep in her home near Dickson Street in downtown Fayetteville. According to the police report, an alcohol odor was on his breath and body. Tyson pleaded innocent to the charges in December. In January 2023, Tyson pleaded guilty in Fayetteville District Court to two misdemeanor charges: public intoxication and criminal trespass. He was ordered to pay a $150 fine on each charge with court costs the total was $440.

In the company’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call on Nov. 14, 2022, the fourth-generation Tyson executive apologized for his arrest.

Following the late 2022 incident, Tyson Foods said the company would conduct an internal review. Tyson Foods did not release findings of the review but did say the matter had been resolved.

Public companies have to hold executive officers accountable for misbehavior and it makes no difference who that is, said Alan Ellstrand, an associate dean at the University of Arkansas who specializes in corporate governance. He noted that McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook was terminated by the board in 2019 when they learned he had engaged in a prohibited relationship with a subordinate. He also said Tyson’s suspension as CFO after the second offense involving alcohol, although a misdemeanor, is in line with corporate governance protocol.