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Tyson CFO pleads not guilty to criminal trespass, intoxication charges: reports

Dive Brief:

  • Tyson Foods CFO John R. Tyson pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of criminal trespass and public intoxication Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets reported.
  • A trial on the charges is scheduled for Feb. 15, according to the Fayetteville District Court. Spokespersons for the company did not respond to a request for comment on the matter. 
  • Tyson, 32, took the food giant’s financial helm on Oct. 2. Six weeks later, on Nov. 7, he was arrested on charges of criminal trespass and public intoxication in Fayetteville, Arkansas after being found in a stranger’s home asleep, according to the police report. Tyson is the son of the company’s chairman and great-grandson of its founder.

Dive Insight:

The Springdale, Arkansas-based company’s board is overseeing a review of the CFO’s arrest, Tyson CEO Donnie King said on a Nov. 14 earnings call. A company spokesperson confirmed to CFO Dive on Nov. 14 the governance and nominating committee will be leading the review process and declined to comment further. 

Shortly after the incident Tyson sent a company-wide email apologizing for his actions. “I am embarrassed for personal conduct that is inconsistent with my personal values, the company’s values and the high expectations we hold for each other here at Tyson Foods,” the company-wide memo stated, according to a Nov. 7 Associated Press report.

Body-cam footage of the arrest released by police on Nov. 21 shows police repeating the finance chief’s name while informing him he was not at his residence. 

Immediately following the arrest, Tyson Foods drew criticism from corporate governance experts stating that they should have taken a more aggressive approach and quicker action. 

Whether or not the young executive will remain at his role is still unclear.

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