MINNEAPOLIS — Jeff Ettinger, former chairman of Hormel Foods Corp., was named new interim president of the University of Minnesota.

Joan Gabel, the current president, will be leaving the position this summer. 

“Our Board was impressed by the number and quality of candidates who expressed interest in the interim president position,” said Janie Mayeron, chairman of the board for the University of Minnesota. “Jeff emerged from that impressive group, and we believe the experience and skills that stood out will make for an effective interim leader of our university. The U of M excels because of our exceptional students, brilliant faculty and talented staff. We have strong and steady senior leaders supporting them throughout each of our five campuses and I’m confident Jeff’s leadership will broaden support for the university and build upon our strengths as we stay focused on the university’s goals.”

Ettinger ran for Minnesota’s 1st District in the US House of Representatives in November 2022, but was defeated by Rep. Brad Finstad.

Ettinger joined Hormel in 1989 and served as president and chief executive officer from November 2006 to October 2015. He stepped down in October 2016 from the CEO position. He served on the Hormel Foods board of directors beginning in May 2004 and as chairman of the board beginning in November 2006. He currently serves as the chair of the Hormel Foundation Board of Directors.