Jacinth Smiley

Hormel Foods has named Jacinth Smiley, a former GE executive with expertise in strategic planning, as its new CFO.

Smiley joined Hormel earlier this year as group vice president of corporate strategy. The company said Friday she will succeed Jim Sheehan, who is retiring after 43 years at Hormel, as finance chief.

After assuming the CFO role in October 2016, Sheehan helped guide Hormel through a series of large acquisitions, culminating in the $3.35 billion deal for Planters that was announced earlier this year.

“As we planned for this transition, we actively sought someone with Jacinth’s skills, experience, and commitment to our strong company culture. She is an impressive strategic and financial executive with deep and broad experience in corporate finance, public accounting, and compliance,” Hormel CEO Jim Snee said in a news release.

“Jacinth has significant long-term strategic planning experience in complex global organizations, which will be important as Hormel Foods continues to focus on growth in international markets,” he added.

Smiley served in finance roles at GE from 1998 to 2018, when she left to join LyondellBasell, one of the world’s largest plastics and chemicals companies, as chief accounting officer. She began her career as an auditor at Arthur Andersen and then joined United Technologies.

At Hormel, she will move on from leading the company’s overall corporate strategy to leading all aspects of its financial strategy, performance, reporting, and long-range business planning. She will also oversee its information technology area.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Sheehan was “known as a meticulous manager of Hormel’s finances.”

“I believe his biggest business contribution was his unending quest to get our entire organization to always think, analyze, and assess in a 360-degree manner so we fully understood all implications and identified blind spots,” Snee told the Star Tribune. “Jim was an uncommon CFO and our company is better because of him.”

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