Farm Fresh Direct Taps Mike Hulett as New Chief Executive Officer; Virgil Valdez Comments
MONTE VISTA, CO - Continuing the industry-wide trend of leadership changes, Farm Fresh Direct has tapped a new Chief Executive Officer. The potato purveyor recently revealed that Mike Hulett will be taking over the role, coming to the company from Walmart, where he most recently served as Merchandising Director for apples, pears, and cherries.
“This is a terrific opportunity with a great organization,” said Hulett. “Farm Fresh is well-established, a strong player in conventional potatoes, and is widely recognized in the industry as a market leader in organic potatoes. I see this as great timing to leverage my retail and supplier knowledge to enhance Farm Fresh’s customer service, business mix, and ultimately to improve grower and shareholder sustainability.”
Bringing 22 years of experience in the produce industry to the table, according to a press release, Hulett spent the last 11 of those years at Walmart. He began working at the big-box chain’s Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters in 2014, and prior to that was Director of Sourcing for Walmart US and International.
Hulett is already familiar with the Farm Fresh Direct company, having worked as the organization’s Director of Sales and Business Development from 2003–2010. Stepping into this new role as CEO, he looks forward to taking what he learned in retail and applying it at Farm Fresh Direct.
“Retail is detail,” Hulett explained. “Managing multi-billion dollar produce categories down to the niche categories teaches you a tremendous amount about process, discipline, financials, supply chain, and the importance of teamwork. Serving the customer is key to success in any industry, but especially in produce.”
Wielding his years of expertise, he went on to express his excitement for this new opportunity to lead Farm Fresh Direct.
“I am passionate about produce and ready to get started building on the solid Farm Fresh team to serve our customers,” added Hulett. “I have been fortunate to work for a number of exceptional leaders who taught me to stretch for goals and believe in a culture that supports its people to take risks and learn together.”
Hulett is stepping into the CEO position after his predecessor Jamey Higham accepted a position as CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission late last year. He will be based out of the Farm Fresh Direct headquarters in Monte Vista, Colorado, and those at the company are already anticipating his arrival.
“The Board believes it is a big win for our growers and company to get Mike back after his stint at Walmart. We are excited to see Mike’s leadership style, integrity, and insights influence our future growth,” said Virgil Valdez, Chairman of the Board.
Congratulations to Mike Hulett on his new leadership role!