Changing of the Guard at Hormel, Simpson Steps Up at Coca-Cola

Nov. 1, 2016
Jeffrey Ettinger reitres as CEO of Hormel Foods and James Snee will fill the spot as both president and CEO. Coca-Cola's Barry Simpson becomes chief information officer.

After 11 years, Jeffrey Ettinger is retiring as CEO of Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn. James Snee will fill the spot as both president and CEO. Snee, who has been serving as president and COO, began his tenure Monday, Oct. 31. Ettinger will continue serving as Hormel Foods chairman of the board.

Ettinger was chairman of the board, president and CEO from November 2006 to October 2015, when Snee was appointed president. Ettinger who has led the 20,000 employees of the company, joined Hormel Foods in 1989 and has served in a variety of positions, including product manager for Hormel's chili products and senior attorney. In 1999, he was named president of Jennie-O Turkey Store — the largest subsidiary of the company, based in Willmar, Minn. Ettinger was appointed president of Hormel Foods in 2004 and CEO effective in 2006. He has served on the Hormel Foods Board of Directors since 2004, and currently serves on the boards of The Toro Co., Ecolab, Inc., the North American Meat Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, The Hormel Foundation, The Hormel Institute and the Minnesota Business Partnership.

Under Ettinger’s leadership, Hormel Foods has grown through strategic acquisitions, organic growth and on new product innovations. He is the founding chair of the company’s diversity and inclusion council, which aims to meet the growing needs of its diverse workforce and consumer base.

Through numerous strategic acquisitions, Hormel added brands such as Wholly Guacamole, Skippy, Muscle Milk and most recently Applegate and Justin’s during Ettinger's tenure.

Snee is a 27-year company veteran and held posts in the international division and affiliated foods and foodservice units within refrigerated foods. Snee has served as president and COO since October 2015. In that role, he led all of the company’s business segments and global operations including Grocery Products, Refrigerated Foods, Specialty Foods, Jennie-O Turkey Store and International & Other. He joined Hormel Foods in 1989 in the foodservice division and served in various positions within the group before being named manager of inventory and distribution for the Refrigerated Foods segment in 1995.

In other news, Barry Simpson, currently head of global units IT services for the Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, becomes chief information officer, effective Oct. 27. In his new role, Simpson will oversee all of the company’s global information technology strategy, services and operations.

An IT industry veteran for nearly 30 years, Simpson joined the Coca-Cola system in 2008 as group CIO of the Amatil (CCA) Group, a major Coca-Cola bottler based in Sydney, Australia. In this role he was responsible for the development and implementation of IT strategy for the CCA Group across multiple lines of business in six Asia-Pacific markets. He joined The Coca-Cola Co. in Atlanta in January 2016, where he has been responsible for overseeing IT services provided to all of the company’s business units worldwide.

"Given the significant amount of change under way as we transform our business for the future, it’s important that we have an IT function positioned to protect our information technology and accelerate our growth around the world," said James Quincey, Coca-Cola's president and COO. "Barry’s proven experience leading change will ensure the IT function is a partner in driving innovation, simplification and efficiency to create value for our customers and consumers, and, importantly, create a better experience for our employees."

Before joining the Coca-Cola system, Simpson served in various IT leadership roles for Colgate-Palmolive based in Australia, Malaysia and the United States from 1990-2008.

Simpson succeeds long-time Coca-Cola CIO Ed Steinike, who passed away earlier this year after a brief illness. Simpson has served as the company’s interim CIO during this period.

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