Tyson Foods heir suspended as CFO after second alcohol-related arrest

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Tyson Foods has suspended its chief financial officer, who is actually the great-grandson of the company’s founder, following his arrest on Thursday for driving while intoxicated.

John R. Tyson, aged 34, got arrested early Thursday by University of Arkansas police in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He faced charges of careless driving and making an illegal turn in addition to the DWI charge.

Tyson was released on a $1,105 bond later that Thursday and is set to appear in court on July 15.

The company, based in Springdale, Arkansas, Tyson Foods, mentioned in a statement on Thursday that they were informed about the arrest and promptly suspended John R. Tyson. He is the son of Tyson Foods Chairman John H. Tyson and a former investment banker who joined Tyson Foods in 2019.

Tyson Foods appointed Curt Calaway as the interim chief financial officer. Calaway has had an 18-year tenure at Tyson, most recently serving as treasurer and senior vice president of finance and corporate development.

This is not the first time John R. Tyson has faced alcohol-related charges. Back in November 2022, he was charged with public intoxication and criminal trespassing after allegedly entering a stranger’s home in Fayetteville and falling asleep in her bed.

John R. Tyson sent an email to all employees apologizing for that incident, expressing his embarrassment, and mentioning that he was seeking counseling for alcohol abuse. He later admitted guilt to those charges, settling them by paying fines and court fees.

Arun Sundaram, an equity analyst at the financial research firm CFRA, noted that John R. Tyson was seen as a potential future CEO, a role traditionally held by Tyson family members. However, Sundaram expressed doubts about his ability to continue as an executive officer.

Sundaram suggested that Calaway would be a strong candidate for Tyson’s permanent CEO if the company chooses to part ways with John R. Tyson.

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