WILLMAR -- The president of Jennie-O Turkey Store and the group vice president of the Hormel Foods specialty foods group are swapping positions, effective at the end of November.
The announcement was made this week by Hormel Foods.
Mike Tolbert, who has headed Jennie-O since 2004, will take over as the group vice president of the specialty foods group.
He will be replaced at Jennie-O by Bob Tegt. Tegt was with Hormel's Jennie-O division from 1988 to 2006, when he was transferred to the specialty foods group.
Officials with Hormel said the reassignment was made to help bring more broad-based, multidisciplinary experience to two of the company's leading positions -- a move that's expected to benefit Hormel Foods in the future.
Tegt will bring extensive protein experience, including 17 years in multiple roles in the company's turkey business, to the task of leading Jennie-O Turkey Store in the face of a challenging protein environment.
A Hormel Foods employee for more than 30 years, Tegt joined the company as a sales trainee in 1973. He held several sales positions before being named product manager of the meat products division in 1979. Six years later he became group product manager for the meat products group.
He was named vice president of marketing for Jennie-O Foods in 1988. In 2001 he was promoted to senior vice president of the food service business for Jennie-O Turkey Store. He became vice president of the specialty foods group in January 2006, and was promoted to group vice president in November 2007.
Tolbert's substantial background with both retail customers and shelf-stable products will allow him to drive collaborative growth for Hormel's specialty foods portfolio.
Tolbert started his career with Hormel Foods in 1979 with the grocery products sales force in Dallas, Texas, transferring in 1981 to San Diego, Calif. In 1985 he was promoted to grocery products district manager of the Oklahoma district and relocated to a similar capacity with the San Francisco district two years later.
In 1991, Tolbert became grocery products regional manager of the west central region, based in Chicago. He transferred to the company's corporate office in Austin in 1996 as grocery products national manager of business development, and advanced to director of grocery products business development four years later.
Tolbert was promoted to chief information officer in 2002 and assumed the role of president of Jennie-O Turkey Store in 2004.