AUSTIN, Minn., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL) announced today plans to implement a new organizational structure to support the adoption of economic value added (EVA), a system to direct and assess business unit performance. The company has partnered with Stern Stewart & Co., a New York-based management consulting firm and the pioneer in developing the EVA concept, to assist in implementation. EVA, and the organizational changes associated with it, will become effective November 1, 1999, the start of Hormel Foods' fiscal year 2000. The plan to implement EVA is part of Hormel Foods overall efforts to improve performance and to analyze the company's value with a focus on making management think and act even more like shareholders. "EVA encourages the efficient use of capital and rewards long-term consistent improvement rather than short-term results," explained Joel W. Johnson, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer. "We believe EVA will provide the measurement and incentive system to unify the goals of our various business units to one overriding goal of achieving and creating additional shareholder value. Hormel Foods today is performing extremely well. This positive momentum gives us an excellent platform from which to drive for even better performance in the future." With the adoption of EVA and the anticipated pending retirements of two long-time senior officers, Hormel Foods announced a sweeping consolidation and reorganization of its major operations into EVA units better able to streamline accountability and increase overall organizational effectiveness. "The restructuring has led to a number of significant promotions within the company," said Johnson, "that will make us a stronger and even more competitive organization." A newly formed Refrigerated Foods business unit will be led by Gary J. Ray, executive vice president, who will now have responsibility for fresh pork, processed pork and foodservice marketing and sales functions, in addition to the hog procurement, processing and logistics operations previously held. Reporting to Ray will be Steven G. Binder, vice president of the Foodservice Group, William F. Snyder, newly elected vice president of operations for refrigerated foods, and Ronald W. Fielding who advances to group vice president of meat products, replacing Stanley E. Kerber who will end a distinguished 44-year career with his year-end retirement. Other changes associated with this restructuring include the election of Kurt F. Mueller as vice president of sales and marketing for fresh pork and Joe C. Swedberg as vice president of marketing for processed meats. Robert A. Slavik will continue as vice president of sales for processed meats. These three executives will report to Fielding. Within the Prepared Foods unit, current group vice president Eric A. Brown's responsibilities expand to include manufacturing operations. Gary C. Paxton, vice president, moves from the Operations Group to assume direct production responsibility for many of the company's and industry's best-known products. He will report to Brown. Grocery products marketing, to be led by Larry L. Vorpahl, newly named vice president, and grocery products sales, under the direction of Douglas R. Reetz, also appointed company vice president, will report to Brown. The specialty products unit will continue unaffected by organizational changes, reporting to Brown. James A. Jorgenson, vice president of human resources, advances to senior vice president of corporate staff. While continuing to have responsibility for personnel and human resource functions, Jorgenson will now have reporting to him all purchasing, logistics, customer service, industrial engineering, company air and fleet transportation and engineering operations. Larry J. Pfeil advances from director to vice president of engineering. Mahlon C. Schneider, general counsel for the company, was elected senior vice president of external affairs. He continues in this capacity as general counsel while taking on added supervisory duties for marketing services and public relations. V. Allan Krejci, director of public relations since June 1983, was elected corporate vice president within the newly formed external affairs group. Also under the EVA framework, Bryan D. Farnsworth, director of quality management, now reports to Forrest D. Dryden, Ph.D., vice president of the company's Research & Development Division. Within Hormel Foods International Corporation (HFIC), under the direction of group vice president David N. Dickson, Richard A. Bross, corporate vice president, assumes increased responsibility as president of HFIC and the company's heightened efforts to expand its global presence. Bross succeeds Fielding in this capacity. With the impending retirement early next year of James N. Rieth, Ph.D., Hormel Foods vice president and president and chief executive officer of Jennie-O Foods, Jeffrey M. Ettinger, has been named his successor. Ettinger will relocate to Willmar, Minn., the home of Jennie-O Foods. Ettinger will be succeeded in his current capacity as corporate treasurer by James N. Sheehan, president of Hormel Financial Services Corp. "The promotions and restructuring changes related to EVA provide us with the foundation with which to continue the company's operational and financial successes," said Johnson. "With this reorganization and the dedicated and talented group of employees leading it, our commitment to create shareholder value should be crystal clear."
SOURCE Hormel Foods