UNFI Announces Senior Management Team Changes
PROVIDENCE, RI - United Natural Foods, Inc. is making changes to its c-suite team after Sean Griffin, the current Chief Operating Officer, announced his retirement. These changes also included the extension of Steven Spinner’s employment agreement as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer to July 31, 2021.
“Our vision for industry transformation is taking hold as we continue to integrate and provide our customers with scale, services, and differentiated distribution alternatives. Development of our talent and succession planning are part of my and the UNFI Board’s responsibilities and we are confident the leadership changes being announced will serve as an enabler toward long-term success,” said Spinner.
Ahead of his retirement on July 31, 2020, Sean Griffin will focus on continuing UNFI’s business transformation as well as supporting other key initiatives. He will remain with the company as an advisor until November 2020. Eric Dorne, who currently serves as UNFI’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), and oversees the wholesaler’s Integration Office and Canadian Business, has been named Chief Operating Officer, effective March 8, 2020, in his stead.
“I truly appreciate Sean’s leadership and dedication during his 10 years at UNFI, and particularly over the past 18 months as we have successfully integrated SUPERVALU at a faster pace than originally anticipated,” continued Spinner. “Sean agreed to extend his time with UNFI following the acquisition of SUPERVALU and we charted our path forward with his guidance. Sean is a tremendous leader and great friend, and we all wish him all the best in his retirement.”
In addition to Dorne’s new appointment, the following senior management and leadership changes will also be occurring over the next couple of months, according to a press release:
- John Howard, who has served as Interim Chief Financial Officer since August 2019, has been appointed Chief Financial Officer, effective February 9, 2020.
- Chris Testa, President and Chief Marketing Officer, will take on additional responsibilities leading UNFI’s professional services, supplier services, customer care, and the Canadian division, and will report directly to Spinner.
- Paul Green, currently Chief Supply Chain Officer, will take on a new role as President, Fresh, where he will lead the company’s meat and produce merchandising teams and will report directly to Spinner. Green will continue serving as Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO) until a successor is named.
- Mike Stigers, currently CUB CEO and Executive Vice President, Fresh, will transition UNFI’s Fresh teams to Green, once he has completed his move to his new role. Stigers will focus on leading CUB and continuing the sale process for the Minnesota-based grocery retailer and will also report directly to Spinner.
“I am pleased to recognize the contributions of John, Eric, and Chris with these new appointments and expanded responsibilities. John quickly earned the respect of our finance and leadership teams while serving as our Interim CFO and he has a great vision for directional changes he is ready to implement as we continue to strengthen our finance organization. Eric has consistently delivered strong results in his nine years as part of the UNFI team and I have great confidence that he will continue to do so in his new role as COO,” Spinner added. “Lastly, since joining UNFI a decade ago, Chris has established a track record of driving sustainable growth and I look for more of this in the future. I am excited to continue working with each of them in their new roles as we continue to position UNFI as the distributor of choice across the United States and Canada.”
UNFI is also currently searching for a new Chief Information Officer and Chief Supply Chain Officer—both of whom will report to Dorne—and will be creating a new Senior Vice President, Brands role to further build its differentiated and exclusive private brands offerings. This new role will also oversee UNFI corporate branding initiatives and will report to Testa.
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