Pictured in this undated photo from Tyson Foods Inc. are, from left, Buddy Wray, Don Tyson and Leland Tollett. It was often said that Wray and Tollett could find a way to profitably run whatever company or business that Tyson decided to buy.
Donald E. “Buddy” Wray and Leland Tollett worked together for nearly 50 years at Tyson Foods Inc. Besides Don Tyson — whose father John W. Tyson founded the company in 1935 — they had more to do with the growth and success of the Springdale company than any other two who ever worked there.
“Many, many people left their marks on the company,” said Gerald Johnston, a former CFO of Tyson Foods who retired in 1996 after 26 years. “But if you ask almost anybody who was involved in Tyson Foods, who was the most instrumental in its success, it’s always those three names.”
That’s why Tollett showed up unannounced at Wray’s Springdale home on a Sunday afternoon in January 2009. Tollett, the company’s president and CEO from 1991... [ MORE ]