Arkansas '75

John Tyson

Chairman, Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods Inc., founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork and the second-largest food company in the Fortune 500. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products, which are marketed under the “Powered by TysonT” strategy. Tyson is the recognized market leader in the retail and food service markets it serves, providing products and service to customers throughout the United States and more than 80 countries. Tyson has approximately 114,000 team members employed at more than 300 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world.

John H. Tyson was born on September 5, 1953 in Springdale, Arkansas. He is the son on Don and Jean Tyson and the grandson of John W. Tyson, the founder of Tyson Foods, Inc.

After graduating from Springdale High School in 1971, John attended the University of Arkansas where in 1972 he was initiated into the Arkansas Alpha chapter. John later transferred to SMU where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. John has worked in the family business since his early teens and became a member of the board in 1984.

Today he is chairman of the board of Tyson Foods and has served in that capacity since 1998. Under John’s direction, Tyson Foods has emerged as the world’s largest protein-processing company largely on the strength of the 2001 acquisition of IBP, a giant processor of beef and pork.

That acquisition, engineered by John, accomplished a long time family goal – namely, to successfully diversify the company beyond the confines of the poultry business. By early 2003 Tyson Foods was producing roughly 25% of all the meat products consumed in the United States. Brother Tyson has been honored with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship. He has been named Man of the Year by the Arkansas Poultry Industry, by the Arkansas Easter Seals and by the Art Center of the Ozarks. He was also named Humanitarian of the Year by the National Conference for Community and Justice.

John serves on numerous boards and committees including: Walden Woods Project, the Advisory Board for the Yale Center for Faith and Culure, University of Arkansas, and as Committee Chairman of the University of Arkansas Capital Campaign for the 21st Century.