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Jeffrey M. Ettinger will retire as CEOr of Austin, Minn.-based Hormel Foods Corp. on Oct. 30, to be succeeded by James P. Snee, the company’s current president and COO.
Ettinger, who will continue to serve as Hormel’s chairman of the board, was chairman, president and CEO from November 2006 to October 2015, when Snee was appointed president.
Under Ettinger’s leadership, Hormel has grown through strategic acquisitions, organic growth and a continued focus on new product innovation. In 2016, Ettinger was named one of the 30 World’s Best CEOs by Barron’s. In 2012, he was named Responsible CEO of the Year by Corporate Responsibility magazine. In addition, Ettinger is the founding chair of the company’s diversity and inclusion council, which aims to meet the growing needs of a diverse workforce and consumer base.
"Jeff has expertly piloted the company to significant growth and success during his tenure, leading a talented management team in the delivery of strong and consistent returns to Hormel Foods shareholders,” said John L. Morrison, the board’s lead director. “Under his leadership, the company added to an outstanding portfolio of brands through numerous strategic acquisitions, most notably Wholly Guacamole, Skippy, Muscle Milk, and, most recently, the Applegate and Justin’s brands.”
Ettinger joined Hormel in 1989 and has held a variety of roles, including senior attorney, product manager for Hormel chili products, and treasurer.
In 1999, he was named president of Jennie-O Turkey Store, Hormel’s largest subsidiary, based in Willmar, Minn. Ettinger was appointed president of Hormel in 2004 and CEO in 2006. He currently serves on the boards of The Toro Co., Ecolab Inc., North American Meat Institute, Grocery Manufacturers Association, The Hormel Foundation, The Hormel Institute and the Minnesota Business Partnership.
“It has been an honor to lead this great company alongside our dedicated employees around the world,” Ettinger said. “Hormel Foods has a 125-year legacy of delivering quality and innovation, as well as meaningful value to all of our stakeholders. As Jim takes the helm, I am confident that Hormel Foods will continue its growth trajectory as he and the team build on our strong foundation of success.”
New CEO Also a Hormel Veteran
Snee becomes president and CEO of Hormel after holding the role of president and COO since October 2015. In that position, he led all of the company’s business segments and global operations, including Grocery Products, Refrigerated Foods, Specialty Foods, Jennie-O Turkey Store, and International & Other.
“While Jeff will certainly be missed, I am equally as confident in the leadership of Jim Snee as he assumes the role of CEO,” Morrison said of the 27-year company veteran. “His excellent performance, along with his successful experience in running the company’s International division and prior significant leadership roles in the affiliated foods and foodservice units within Refrigerated Foods, positions the company to continue to deliver outstanding results to its shareholders. The company is in excellent hands.”
Snee joined Hormel in 1989 in the foodservice division and took on various positions within the group before being named manager of inventory and distribution for the Refrigerated Foods segment in 1995. He was promoted to foodservice area manager and foodservice regional sales manager in 1996 and 1998, respectively. Snee was named director of purchasing in 2006 and VP of affiliated business units in 2008. He became VP of Hormel and SVP of Hormel Foods International Corp. at the end of fiscal year 2011. Snee advanced to group VP of Hormel and president of Hormel International in October 2012.
“It is truly an honor to be elected as the next CEO for Hormel Foods,” Snee said. “This is a remarkable company made up of thousands of inspired employees dedicated to providing inspired foods to our customers around the world. Jeff has guided us with his strategic leadership, brave innovation, unquestionable integrity, and unwavering commitment to our communities and corporate citizenship. It has been a pleasure to work directly with Jeff over the past year, and I look forward to leading the company with this legacy of excellence. I am certain we are well positioned for future success in the years to come.”