AVERY ISLAND, La. – Paul C.P. McIlhenny, chief executive and chairman of the board of the McIlhenny Co., which makes the trademarked line of Tabasco hot pepper sauces, has died. He was 68.

The company said in a statement that McIlhenny had died Saturday. The statement, released Sunday, credited McIlhenny’s leadership with introducing several new varieties of hot sauces sold under the Tabasco brand, and with greatly expanding the firm’s global reach.

McIlhenny was a member of a storied clan whose company has been producing the original world-famous Tabasco sauce since shortly after the Civil War.