AUSTIN, Minn. -- Hormel Foods Corporation has announced several changes in its executive suite and additions to the board of directors.



First comes the planned retirement of Michael J. McCoy, executive vice president and CFO of Hormel.



Jody H. Feragen will succeed McCoy and serve as senior vice president and chief financial officer. Feragen is being promoted from her position as vice president finance and treasurer.



In addition, the board elected Ronald W. Fielding as executive vice president grocery products, effective Jan. 1, 2007. Fielding will continue his responsibilities leading the grocery products division and will assume additional responsibilities in company acquisitions.

McCoy, a 12-year employee of Hormel Foods, will retire effective Dec. 31, 2006, and will remain a director of Hormel Foods Corporation through Jan. 1, 2008.



Feragen will assume her new responsibilities as senior vice president and chief financial officer effective Jan. 1, 2007. She will be responsible for overseeing all financial areas of Hormel Foods Corporation, including general accounting, information technology, cost accounting and treasury.



"Jody Feragen brings a wealth of financial experience to her new position. She is an excellent manager with an enthusiasm for limiting costs, and she will enhance our management team in her new role," said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, president and CEO.



Roland G. Gentzler, currently assistant controller and director of refrigerated foods accounting, will succeed Feragen as vice president finance and treasurer, effective Jan. 1, 2007. His new responsibilities will include financial analysis, SEC reporting, risk management, cash management, tax and credit.



Russell C. Potter, director of grocery products production, was named vice president grocery products operations, effective immediately. In this position, Potter will continue to be responsible for the grocery products processing plant and co-packer operations.



New Hormel board members, including Texas A & M ag dean



Hormel also announced the addition of three new members to the board of directors.
Elsa A. Murano, Ph.D., Robert C. Nakasone and Hugh C. Smith, M.D., were elected at the board of directors meeting Sept. 18. Murano, Nakasone and Smith were nominated to fill the seats created by the retirements of long-time Board members Robert R. Waller and John W. Allen and the concurrent vote to increase the Board from 13 to 14 members.



"The Board is very pleased to welcome its three newest directors," said Joel W. Johnson, chairman of the board. "The caliber of professionalism and experience in these directors will serve to further elevate Hormel Foods."



Murano, 47, is Vice Chancellor of Agriculture, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Director of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas A&M University. She spent three years as Undersecretary of Food Safety in the U.S. Department of Agriculture under President George W. Bush where she developed food safety policy for the USDA and oversaw its implementation. She has served on the faculties of both Texas A&M and Iowa State Universities.



Murano is a noted expert on food safety, has been widely published and is the recipient of numerous industry recognitions.



Nakasone, 58, is principal in NAK Enterprises, LLC, an equity capital, consulting and advisory firm. His past experience includes the position of President and CEO of Toys "R" Us, Inc., and Group Vice President of Jewel Companies Inc.



Smith, 66, comes to the board with a long list of honors, professional experience and leadership positions. He is currently a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and a consultant in the cardiovascular division at Mayo Clinic. Prior to that, he held the title of the Chief Executive Officer of Mayo Clinic--Rochester, and was a member of the Board of Trustees of Mayo Clinic.
A native of Manitoba, Canada, Dr. Smith's professional recognitions involve his work in cardiovascular disease and acute care.



Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products.



SOURCE: Hormel Foods Corporation via Business Wire.