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Former Hormel President and CEO Richard Knowlton passes away

Hormel Foods announced on Friday that Richard L. Knowlton, former Chairman of the Board and President and CEO, passed away.

Today, we are saddened to learn the news of the passing of Dick Knowlton, former chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Hormel Foods,” current Hormel Foods Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Jim Snee said on the company’s website. “Dick was one of the most beloved and visionary leaders in Hormel Foods 128-year history. His legacy of ingenuity and excellence has left a monumental and enduring impact on our great company. He was an admired and compassionate leader, both at Hormel Foods and in the community.”

Richard L. Knowlton,

An Austin native, Knowlton first joined Hormel Foods in 1954.  In 1979, Knowlton was named president and chief operations officer, and in 1981 was named chief executive officer and chairman of the board. He retired from the role of chief executive officer in 1993 and chairman in 1995.

Snee described Knowlton as “a great leader, ambassador and gentleman.”

“On behalf of our entire Hormel Foods family, we extend our deepest condolences to Dick’s family, including his wife Nancy and his children Scott, Kim, Claudia, David and Julie, along with his grandchildren,” he said.