United Natural Foods, Inc. Announces the Appointment of Lynn Blake, James Loree, and James C. Pappas as Independent Directors; Sandy Douglas Comments
PROVIDENCE, RI - As United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) continues to execute its customer- and supplier-focused transformation plan in the name of strong corporate governance and shareholder value creation, the company has shared an update to its Board of Directors. The distributor recently added three new members—Lynn Blake, James “Jim” Loree, and James C. Pappas—as Independent Directors.
First up on the list of appointments, Blake has more than 30 years of experience in the investment industry and deep financial and strategic expertise. Most recently, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of Global Equity Beta Solutions for State Street Global Advisors.
Loree is a seasoned transformational leader with more than four decades of experience across two global diversified industrial and consumer products businesses, General Electric and Stanley Black & Decker, where he most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer.
Pappas founded JCP Investment Management in Houston in June 2009 and is the Managing Member and Owner of the firm.
Effective September 28, 2023, Blake, Loree, and Pappas will temporarily increase UNFI’s board to 14 directors, before reducing back to 11 members effective at the upcoming 2024 Annual Meeting.
“We appreciate the constructive dialogue we have maintained with UNFI over the past several months and are pleased to have come to this agreement with UNFI in connection with the refreshment of the board with new, independent shareholder representatives,” Pappas, the Founder and Managing Member of JCP, stated. “With UNFI’s leading position in the grocery food distribution market, substantial assets, and consistent free cash flow, the company has significant opportunities to create long-term shareholder value. As a Director, I look forward to being a part of the board-led review and assisting with the company’s transformation efforts as the refreshed board helps set UNFI on the path to meaningful shareholder value creation.”
The appointment of the three new Independent Directors reflects UNFI’s commitment to ongoing board refreshment and shareholder engagement.
“Our board and management team believe that the transformation plan we previously shared will deliver value for UNFI shareholders through unifying and modernizing our systems, enhancing digital offerings to meet new omnichannel trends, automating and optimizing supply chain capabilities, and delivering profitable growth,” Sandy Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of UNFI, commented. “Further, we are taking decisive action to right-size our cost structure. Alongside these step-change improvements to our business, we believe there may be additional actionable opportunities to focus our operations and create further value for shareholders. Our board is committed to looking at these areas as we continue to move forward with our transformation into a technology-enabled food retail services company.”
Click here to learn more about the appointments, including comments from UNFI executives.
Stay tuned as ANUK continues to report.