- THE MAGAZINE
- FOOD MASTER
James Holton, former president and CEO of Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn., passed away April 11 at his home.
Holton joined Hormel in February 1947, responsible for relief selling and operations observation assignments at the Austin plant before joining the law department.
In 1956, he was elected secretary of the company. In 1961, he was elected to serve as a director. In January 1968, he advanced to executive vice president and in 1969, he was elected president, followed by his CEO post in 1972. In July 1979, he was elected chairman of the board.
"Mr. Holton was a great leader and an even better person," says Jeffrey Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO. "He had the ability to connect with so many people. His leadership helped Hormel Foods grow both domestically and internationally and laid the groundwork for the company we are today. He will be truly missed."