Hormel Foods Corp. said Wednesday that one of its top executives, James Snee, will be promoted to president and chief operating officer.

The appointment will take effect Monday. Jeffrey Ettinger will remain the Austin, Minn.-based company’s chief executive and chairman.

The president and chief operating officer position in many companies is often the steppingstone to the CEO suite. Ettinger, 57, was named Hormel’s president and chief operating officer in 2004 before assuming the CEO post a year later. Ettinger also had the title of president before Snee’s appointment.

Hormel, known for everything from canned chili to bacon and ground turkey, does about $9 billion in annual sales. The nearly 125-year-old company has made its two biggest acquisitions — Skippy peanut butter and Applegate Farms meats — during the past few years.

Snee, 48, currently leads Hormel’s international business. He started at Hormel in 1989 in the food service division. He also has worked in Hormel’s refrigerated foods division, the firm’s largest segment. Snee became a senior vice president in 2011 and took on the international business a year later.

“Jim’s vast experience in both our core businesses and our emerging growth markets internationally position him exceptionally well to take on the additional responsibilities of president and chief operating officer,” Ettinger said.

Snee, who will report to Ettinger, will oversee all of the company’s business segments and global operations. Corporate administration functions including finance, legal and mergers and acquisitions will continue to report to Ettinger.

“I understand the incredible legacy of Hormel Foods, and equally important, I understand our imperatives for growth,” Snee said in a prepared statement.