Ralcorp Holdings has announced the retirement of its vice chairman, Joe Micheletto, effective on 20 January.

Micheletto joined Ralston Purina Co. - which later became Ralcorp - in 1963, where he held a number of positions of increasing responsibility including vice president and controller from 1985 until 1994.

Micheletto served as Ralcorp's co-chief executive officer and chief financial officer upon the company's spin-off from Ralston Purina in 1994. In 1996, he became CEO and president and served in that role until September 2003.

Micheletto has been a director of Ralcorp since January 1994.

"Joe has played a pivotal role in the company's evolution, and he has served as a mentor to many of us," said Kevin Hunt, Ralcorp's co-CEO and president. "His insight, judgement and dedication have been invaluable to the company, its board of directors and its employees. We have a deep appreciation for his many and varied contributions."