Don Tyson

January 6, 2011 by USA Post 

Don Tyson, (AP) – Former Tyson Foods Inc. CEO Donald J. Tyson, who led the company to dominate poultry industry, died Thursday at age 80.

Company spokesman Gary Mickelson said Tyson died of complications from cancer and died at home with his family.

In 1952, Tyson has joined the company his father founded over two decades ago and became its president in 1966. He built the company by acquiring other poultry producers in the 1970s and 80s, and Tyson Foods became the largest producer of poultry when it purchased Holly Farms in 1989.

“He was a true visionary who has led a company Tyson Foods chicken small regional company to a multibillion dollar food industry,” John R. Tyson, his son who is now president of the company, said in a statement. ‘He will be missed by all who knew him. ”

Don Tyson was not known for his “bad days” and perspectives “was known by all to work hard but also play hard,” the company said in a statement announcing the death of Tyson.

Although the Springdale-based society went public in 1963, in practice, it remained a family business with family members holding shares of Tyson control.

Don Tyson, who retired as senior vice president in 2001, was fined and 700,000 by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2005 and Tyson Foods paid and 1.5 million to settle an investigation into the lavish spending company money between 1997 and 2001.

The SEC concluded that it uses, and $ 3 million in company funds to pay for vacation properties in England and Mexico, and items that ranged from jewelry and artwork to a horse and clothing, all well documented in company regulatory filings.

Tyson was also known for his philanthropy. He founded the Tyson Family Foundation, which provides scholarships to students who live in areas where Tyson facilities. There was also a supporter of conservation and the arts. Tyson was a well-known love of music, and it was easy to spot with performances by local musicians such as Willie Nelson, BB King and Marty Stuart.

Tyson’s father, John W. Tyson, had founded the company in early 1930. John Tyson has become a leader in the transportation industry of live chickens to distant markets in the Midwest at a time before refrigeration made for easy transport.

The company has grown to include hatcheries, feed mills, and in 1958 the processing plants. Don Tyson was the first director of the processing plant, built in Springdale under his supervision. He also continued to develop guidelines prepared foods, which helped to widen the footprint of the company.

Tyson added the titles of chairman and CEO in 1967, the same year his father was killed in a car accident train. In addition to Holly Farms, microphones major company under his leadership included Val-Mack, Lane and poultry in 1998, Hudson Foods. Tyson left the daily operations of the company in 1995 but remains chairman, when Leland Tollett became CEO.

Under Don’s son, John R. Tyson, the company became the leading company in the meat of its acquisition of IBP Inc. in 2001.

Until his death, Don Tyson has been the managing partner of the Partnership Tyson Limited, which owns 70 million shares of class B common shares of the Company and 3,000,000 shares of Class common shares. The partnership, composed of Tyson family members and former executives, will retain control of the company, currently president and CEO Donnie Tyson Smith said.

The Stephens Media Group first reported death of Tyson.

Visitation is scheduled for Friday afternoon at Sisco Funeral Home in Springdale. A private service for family and friends of the closing is scheduled for Saturday. A public memorial will be held later.

In addition to his son John, three daughters, Carla Tyson, Tyson and Cheryl J. Joslyn Caldwell-Tyson, two grandchildren and other relatives, survive Tyson.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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