Hormel Foods’ Diamond Crystal Brands subsidiary president, Walter Lehneis, is to retire in January 2007. 

Diamond Crystal Brands packages and sells various sugar, sugar substitute, salt and pepper products, savoury products, drink mixes and dessert mixes to retail and foodservice customers.

Karl Kaiser, currently vice president of sales for the company, will succeed him. Andre Wickham, regional sales and national accounts manager, Hormel Foodservice, will fill Kaiser’s position. David Weber will be named Hormel Foodservice regional sales manager – Southeast, taking over Wickham’s duties.

Lehneis joined Diamond Crystal Brands in 1990 as vice president of marketing and was named president in 2000. He remained in that position following Hormel’s acquisition of the company in 2002.

“Walt brought great wisdom and business sense to our organization,” said Robert Tegt, group vice president, specialty foods segment. “Diamond Crystal Brands has enjoyed tremendous growth under his leadership. We wish Walt all the best in his retirement.”

Kaiser joined Diamond Crystal Brands in 1998 as VP Foodservice sales. Kaiser’s previous experience included 25 years with Kraft General Foods and Country Home Bakes, among others.

Wickham joined Hormel Foods in 1994 as foodservice area manager in Memphis. In 1997, he became Foodservice regional sales manager and corporate national accounts based at the corporate offices in Austin. Prior to joining Hormel, Wickham spent 10 years in the salty snack industry with companies that included Frito Lay and Bordens.

Weber began his career with Hormel Foods in January 1992, becoming associate product manager marketing in 1997 and corporate national accounts manager handling the pizzeria segment in 2001.