University of Minnesota Selects attorney Jeff Ettinger, former CEO of Hormel as Interim President
The University of Minnesota Board of Regents has selected Jeff Ettinger, current chair of the Hormel Foundation Board of Directors, and former CEO of the Hormel Foods Corporation from 2005 to 2016, as its interim president to succeed attorney president Joan T.A. Gabel this summer. Ettinger is expected to serve as interim president for up to one year while the Board of Regents undertakes a national search for the U of M’s 18th president.
Ettinger was selected by the Board because they felt it was time for an outside perspective and they were attracted to his leadership in the corporate world. One Regent, Mary Davenport, said "I just think we're ready for a very different point of view that embraces the mission yet brings us something fresh and different that we can build on." The other candidates for the interim position were all seasoned academics, but Ettinger professed that, “he could help restore the U’s reputation with lawmakers and the general public following a year of heavily criticized decisions.”
Ettinger, who holds a law degree from UCLA, taught a course in agribusiness at the University. He served as a law clerk for the Hon. Arthur Alarcon on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals prior to his career in Corporate America. He then worked as Vice President and general counsel at Comar Marketing before joining Hormel as a corporate attorney. He moved up the ladder at Hormel serving as a senior attorney,-O-Foods, assistant treasurer, president of Jennie-O Foods and then Jennie-O Turkey Store, CEO of Jennie-O Turkey Store and the COO, VP, President and COO of Hormel.