What is in this article?:
- Supplier Leadership Award 2012 Winner for Executive Leadership: Hormel Foods
- A Cohesive Workforce
Hormel’s executive leadership has had an unrelenting focus on diversity of product, helping the company earn SN's Supplier Leadership Award for Executive Leadership.
The record sales and profits that Hormel Foods reported for the third quarter back in August tell only part of the much larger success story being written by the 122-year-old company’s executive team.
“Among the officer group, the average tenure is 26 years, which is pretty remarkable,” said Julie Craven, Hormel’s vice president of corporate communications. “Our legacy is that people come to work here and stay.”
Far from stifling innovation, at Hormel such longevity promotes innovation, spurs acquisitions and creates a culture of diversity — all overseen by Jeffrey M. Ettinger, the company’s resourceful chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Since assuming the presidency in 2004 and adding the CEO and chairman titles the following year, Ettinger has fostered a company culture based on the three pillars of innovation, diversity/inclusion and corporate responsibility.
“Now that he’s been in his current positions for seven years, he’s hitting his stride, not just talking about these initiatives, but showing results,” said Craven.
Innovation has been one of the most visible wins. Ettinger himself attributed the company’s winning quarter to a portfolio of products that is at once broad — stretching from turkey to pepperoni to microwavable meals — yet focused on supporting the whole.
“The strength of our balanced business model and the vibrancy of our branded value-added portfolio should support continued sales and earnings growth as we close out fiscal 2012,” Ettinger told investors during a third-quarter conference call.
Wall Street has been impressed with Hormel’s ability to increase volumes during an otherwise flat year for most CPG companies. Ettinger said that all five of the company’s divisions registered gains in profit, with total sales topping $2 billion for the quarter, an increase of more than 5% on volume growth of 4%.
“We have a lot of items that are connecting well with consumers overall,” he said to investors.