Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL) announced Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board and CEO of Hormel Foods, has been named one of the World’s Best CEOs by Barron’s. Ettinger was among 30 CEOs selected by the publication’s editors and writers based on a history of strong leadership over a lengthy period.
Hormel Foods announced its 50th consecutive increase to its annual dividend in 2015, and its seventh consecutive year of record earnings. The company is currently one of the top performing stocks for the last twelve months on the S&P 500.
“Hormel’s best-known product might be SPAM®, but its shares trade like filet mignon,” the article states.
Ettinger joined Hormel Foods in 1989 and was appointed CEO in 2005. During his tenure as CEO, Ettinger has grown and diversified Hormel Foods to meet the needs of changing consumer trends by expanding the company’s product portfolio through strategic acquisitions and innovation.
For example, last year Hormel Foods acquired Applegate Farms, LLC, owner of the Applegate® brand. Applegate® is the No. 1 brand in the natural and organic value-added prepared meats category. Hormel Foods also acquired CytoSport in 2014, maker of Muscle Milk® premium protein products in the sports nutrition category, and the SKIPPY® peanut butter brand in 2013. In addition, the company continues to innovate and invigorate its traditional product lines by creating new items for the on-the-go market like SKIPPY® P.B. bites.
“Four or five years ago, we started thinking about what kinds of products we were missing. We wanted to become more global, to expand our offerings to a more multicultural mix of items, and offer consumers more healthy, holistic foods,” Ettinger said in an interview with Barron’s.
Under Ettinger’s leadership, the company has furthered its diversity and inclusion initiatives with the development of employee resource groups. The company also developed and has donated more than 11 million cans of SPAMMY®, a shelf-stable poultry product fortified with vitamins and minerals, to prevent childhood malnutrition in Guatemala.