SPAM-owner Hormel Foods taps Hertz to end hunt for GC replacement

Colleen Batcheler to take legal head role, which has been vacant since Lori Marco left in October

Hormel Foods owns the SPAM canned meat brand Steve Cukrov /

US Fortune 500 food processing company Hormel Foods Corporation has appointed Colleen Batcheler as general counsel, filling the seat left vacant by the departure of Lori Marco late last year.

Batcheler joins from global vehicle rental business Hertz, where she was GC. At Hormel Foods, she will oversee the company’s global legal and external affairs function, including corporate governance, securities, M&A, intellectual property, litigation, employment and regulatory matters. She will report directly to chairman and CEO Jim Snee.

Minnesota-based Hormel Foods owns brands including Planters, SPAM, Natural Choice and Applegate.

Snee said: “[Batcheler] has a wealth of experience both inside and outside the food space and will bring invaluable insights to our company. With her track record of success, she will play a pivotal role in driving the company forward and helping us achieve our goals.”

Batcheler was at Hertz for two years having previously spent close to 16 years at Hormel’s packaged foods rival Conagra Brands, the majority of them as GC. She originally joined in 2006 as chief securities counsel before being promoted to GC in 2008.

Prior to that she spent just under three years as vice president and corporate secretary at US grocery retailer Albertsons and a brief stint as associate counsel at Cleveland Clinic. She started her career in private practice as an associate at Jones Day. 

Marco, meantime, exited the company in October after almost two decades, spending just under 13 years as GC. The company had announced in September that Marco and Hormel would separate, with Hormel agreeing to pay Marco one year’s salary as severance ($380,000) along with other accrued benefits.

In other food-related in-house moves, in January US food and agriculture giant Cargill appointed Rishi Varma as its next chief legal officer from Hewlett Packard Enterprises. And last September, food distribution company US Foods hired Martha Ha as GC from Medtronic.

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