University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Leland E. Tollett


Leland E. Tollett

Former Chairman/CEO
Tyson Foods, Inc.
Springdale, Arkansas


Leland E. Tollett began his career with Tyson Feed and Hatchery Inc. in 1959 as director of research and nutrition. At the time, the company consisted of a small office, a hatchery and a feed mill. Tollett, along with Don Tyson and Donald “Buddy” Wray, formed a leadership team that was responsible for the growth and development of Tyson Foods Inc. Tollett was general manager of the broiler division in 1965 and rose through the ranks, eventually becoming CEO in 1991 and chairman of the board in 1995. During his 50-plus year association with Tyson, Tollett established key industry standards in research and nutrition; his leadership helped make Tyson Foods one of the world’s largest leading producers of chicken, beef and pork.

Alumnus Tollett was a major fund raiser for the university’s Center for Excellence in Poultry Science. He served on the boards of J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., Worthen Banking Corp., Arkansas Poultry Federation and the National Chicken Council. In 2010, the Leland and Betty Tollett Center for Retinal and Ophthalmic Genetics Disorders was established with a $3 million gift to the UAMS Jones Eye Institute.


View All Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Inductees