SpartanNash Chairman Dennis Eidson plans to retire after nearly five years in the post, and Lead Independent Director Douglas Hacker has been nominated as his successor.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based SpartanNash said late Monday that Eidson is slated to step down from the board when his term expires at the company’s 2021 annual shareholders meeting on May 26. Plans call for Hacker, tabbed as the new chairman by the board’s nominating and corporate governance committee, to be elected to the position after the annual meeting.
“It has been a privilege to be a part of SpartanNash’s growth and transformation over the years. I have been fortunate to work with a talented board and management team throughout my tenure, including Doug. His expertise, insights and deep knowledge of SpartanNash’s business make him the logical choice to serve as chairman,” Eidson said in a statement.
"As we make this planned transition," he added, "I have full confidence that the board, along with CEO Tony Sarsam and our entire management team, are well-equipped to make the most of SpartanNash’s considerable opportunities.”
Eidson (left) has been at SpartanNash for about 18 years, serving as chairman since June 2016 and previously as CEO from October 2008 to May 2017. He also has held the titles of president (2007 to 2016), chief operating officer (2007 to 2008) and executive vice president of marketing and merchandising (2003 to 2007).
In addition, Eidson served as interim president and CEO of SpartanNash — while remaining chairman — upon the resignation of David Staples in August 2019 until Sarsam began as president and CEO in mid-September 2020.
SpartanNash noted that, during Eidson’s tenure with the company, revenue surged from $2.1 billion to $9 billion.
“It’s an honor to be nominated to succeed Dennis as chairman,” Hacker commented. “Few executives have accomplished more than Dennis during his nearly 20 years of leadership at SpartanNash. On behalf of the board and all of us at SpartanNash, I want to thank Dennis for his distinguished service as we continue his unwavering commitment to driving growth and shareholder value.”
Hacker (left) has served as SpartanNash’s lead independent director since May 2018 and on the grocery distributor and retailer’s board since November 2013. Before that, he served as a board member of Nash Finch until the company finalized its merger with Spartan Stores to form SpartanNash in November 2013. An independent business executive, he formerly was executive vice president of strategy for UAL Corp., the holding company for United Airlines, from December 2002 to May 2006. Previously, he served as president of UAL Loyalty Services from September 2001 to December 2002 and as executive vice president and chief financial officer of United Airlines from July 1994 to September 2001. Hacker currently serves as chair of the Columbia Funds Board mutual fund and as a director of Aircastle Ltd., a privately held commercial aircraft leasing company.
Eidson’s retirement announcement comes the same day that Jason Monaco took the reins as chief financial officer from Mark Shamber, who had held the post since September 2017. Plans call for Shamber to remain with the company through the end of April to aid with the transition.
SpartanNash has made several executive appointments this year, including Todd Riksen as vice president and corporate controller, Greg Molloy as vice president of environmental health and safety and Amy McClellan as vice president of fresh merchandising for retail.