The Tyson Foods board of directors said it has “continued confidence” in chief financial officer John R. Tyson, who was arrested on November 6 on suspicion of public intoxication and criminal trespassing.
Tyson’s arrest was made after he was found asleep in the bed of a person he allegedly did not know. to news reports, a college-age woman in Fayetteville, Arkansas, returned to her home to find the man who was later identified as Tyson, asleep in her bed. Police came to the residence to find Tyson’s identification in his wallet on his pants on the floor. He reportedly also smelled of alcohol.
He was released later that day after posting a bond of $415.
Following that incident, Tyson Foods CEO Donnie King said during a quarterly earnings call on November 14 that the company’s independent board of directors was overseeing a thorough review of this matter, and I’m confident in this independent process.”
That process has now been completed, and Tyson Foods released the following statement to describe the outcome: “The company and a committee of independent directors of the Tyson Board have separately reviewed the recent incident involving our chief financial officer, John R. Tyson. This review process was conducted pursuant to the company’s internal procedures, best practices in corporate governance, and resulted in actions consistent with those procedures. The board supports Mr. Tyson and has continued confidence in his ability to lead Tyson Foods as CFO.”
During the earnings call a pair of analysts asked King for the names of those who were to be conducting the review, and what questions would be asked. However, King refused to directly answer those questions and instead reiterated earlier points.
“We have a robust governance program in place. We’ve had it in place for a long time just for situations like this. We’ve got an independent group of our board of directors that are overseeing a thorough review of this matter, and I’m confident in this independent process which we will allow to run its course,” he said.
King also defended the company’s decision to promote Tyson, previously Tyson Foods’ chief sustainability officer, to the CFO position, after one analyst insinuated that he did not have sufficient experience.
During that same earnings call, Tyson apologized for behaving inappropriately.
“I’m sure you’ve seen the recent incident involving me. I’m embarrassed and I want to let you know that I take full responsibility for my actions. I also want to apologize to our investors as I have to our employees. This was an incident inconsistent with our company values, as well as my personal values. I just wanted you guys to hear this directly from me and to know that I’m committed to making sure that this never happens again,” he said.
Tyson has since entered not guilty pleas for both criminal charges filed against him. A trial has been set for February 15.