US food maker Hormel Foods has named Jeffrey Ettinger to be the company’s ninth chief executive officer.

Ettinger, current president and chief operating officer, succeeds Joel Johnson, who will retire as chief executive officer on 1 January 2006. Johnson will continue to serve as Hormel Foods’ chairman of the board.

“Johnson orchestrated numerous strategic acquisitions to expand the presence of Hormel Foods, most notably The Turkey Store. He refined the company’s marketing strategy to significantly advance the sale of value-added products, and established Hormel Foods as a significant player in the ethnic foods marketplace,” said Dr. Robert Waller, board member.

Johnson joined Hormel Foods as executive vice president of sales and marketing in 1991. He was elevated to the position of president and elected to the board of directors in 1992. In October 1993, Johnson was elected chief executive officer and in December 1995 he became chairman of the board.

Ettinger began his career with Hormel Foods in December 1989 as a corporate attorney. He became the Hormel chili product manager in 1995, was named assistant treasurer in 1997 and treasurer in 1998. In 1999, Ettinger was named a vice president of Hormel Foods and president of Jennie-O Foods. He later became president and chief operating officer of Jennie-O Turkey Store when Hormel acquired The Turkey Store Company in 2001 and then assumed the role of chief executive officer of Jennie-O Turkey Store in 2003.

Most recently, Ettinger was promoted to president and chief operating officer of Hormel Foods and named to the company’s board of directors in May 2004.