US-based Hormel Foods has announced that its chief executive and president Jim Snee will take on the role of chairman of the board following the retirement of Jeffrey Ettinger.

Snee, who has only been CEO since October last year, was elected to chairman by the Austin, Minnesota-based company’s board of directors. The appointment becomes effective on 20 November. Snee’s career with Hormel spans 28 years.

Ettinger has served on the Hormel board since May 2004, as chairman of the board since November 2006 and was CEO of the Spam maker from January that year until October 2016, when he was replaced as chief executive by Snee.

“We thank Jeff for his outstanding leadership of Hormel Foods,” Snee said. “During Jeff’s tenure, the company experienced significant growth and expansion through organic growth, strategic acquisitions, and a continued focus on new product innovation.” 

The branded foods giant – which produces brands including Jennie-O, Applegate and Muscle Milk – has been in acquisitive mood of late.

In the last two months it has bought Fontanini, a meat and sausage business specialising in Italian products, and recently announced its entry into South America with the acquisition of the Ceratti meats brand.