Applegate® has announced that Chief Executive Officer Kerry Collins will transition to the role of CEO emeritus, and Chief Operating Officer Steven J. Lykken will assume the position of president. Applegate Farms is the nation's leading natural and organic meat brand and is a stand-alone subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corporation.

"Both Kerry and Steve played key roles in ensuring a smooth transition of Applegate into a stand-alone subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corporation," said Thomas R. Day, group VP of Refrigerated Foods at Hormel Foods. "Kerry's leadership was essential in preserving the core of Applegate's vision of 'Changing the Meat We Eat,' and we look forward to her continuing counsel as CEO emeritus. Steve brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help Applegate continue to grow and expand in the natural and organic food space." 

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Collins joined Applegate in 2011 as VP of finance. She led key efforts in information technology and supply chain management and quickly rose through the ranks to chief financial and operating officer. Collins was named CEO of Applegate in 2014. She shepherded the acquisition of Applegate by Hormel Foods in 2015. In addition to her new role, Collins also will be a member of the Applegate Advisory Board, a group charged with continuing Applegate's vision of "Changing the Meat We Eat."

Lykken became CEO of Applegate in August 2015. He is a 24-year veteran of Hormel Foods Corporation, most recently as the senior VP of supply chain at Jennie-O Turkey Store. He began his career at Hormel Foods in 1992 as a Grocery Products sales representative in Salt Lake City, UT. From 1996 to 2002, Lykken led teams in trade management and marketing at the Hormel Foods Corporate office in Austin, MN. He was moved to the Jennie-O Turkey Store as senior VP of the retail division in 2003.