Hormel Foods is promoting its president and chief operating officer James Snee to the post of CEO. 

Snee replaces Jeffrey Ettinger, who will retire as chief executive at the end of October but continue to serve as chairman of the board. Ettinger has been chairman, president and CEO at Hormel since 2006.

Last year, Snee, then president of the US group’s international business, took on the positions of group president and COO at the Spam and Muscle Milk maker. Ettinger continued as chairman and CEO. Snee is a 27-year veteran of the company having joined Hormel in 1989. Snee’s experience at the group spans the international, foods and foodservice units. 

“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 Morrison, the lead director on Hormel’s board. “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. While Jeff will certainly be missed, I am equally as confident in the leadership of Jim Snee as he assumes the role of CEO.”

Ettinger noted: “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.”