University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Don J. Tyson


Don J. Tyson

President and CEO
Tyson Foods, Inc.

Springdale, Arkansas


Don J. Tyson took his father's local poultry production company from sales of $1 million in 1952 to the world's largest poultry producer with sales of almost $8 billion internationally. Tyson joined the company in 1952 and made his mark on the family business in 1965 when he persuaded his father to introduce the Rock Cornish game hen as a specialty item at a flat rate of 50 cents per bird.

After his father's death in 1967, Tyson took over the company with his half-brother Randall. At that time, Tyson Foods controlled less than two percent of the U.S. chicken market. In 1998, as the nation's leading poultry supplier, Tyson Foods, Inc., controlled 28 percent of the market with $7.4 billion in sales. Then the Tyson team numbered 70,000 worldwide, operating 70 food-processing plants in 17 states. Tyson's philanthropy to northwest Arkansas, both directly and indirectly, impacts the lives of most residents of the area everyday.


View All Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Inductees