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Fairway names Murphy CEO

Fairway Group Holdings on Friday said it has appointed Jack Murphy as its new CEO, replacing Bill Sanford, who was serving as interim CEO at Fairway since February.

Murphy is a veteran of the natural and specialty foods business and most recently served as CEO of Earth Fare, the Fletcher, N.C.-based natural and organics chain. Prior to his stint with Earth Fare, Murphy was a co-founder of Boston-area natural and organic chain Fresh Fields, which was later sold to Whole Foods.  Murphy is a former operating partner at McCown Deleeuw & Co., the private equity firm that owned the 24 Hour Fitness chain; and a served as VP of operations at Purity Supreme Supermarkets.

"We believe that Jack brings very strong leadership to Fairway, and possesses highly relevant marketing and merchandising skills that are complementary to our organization," Charles Santoro, chairman of Fairway Market, New York, said in a statement. "Jack has developed and implemented business strategies for unique and highly differentiated brands, and brings great enthusiasm, perspective and leadership to the Company."

It was not immediately clear when Murphy departed Earth Fare, or who is succeeding him. The chain's owner, the private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners, declined to comment to SN, and Earth Fare officials weren't immediately available. When Oak Hill acquired Earth Fare in 2012, Murphy was identified as a minority owner of the company. He was appointed CEO at Earth Fare in 2008.


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"I am very excited to lead this iconic food retailer known for its longstanding and unwavering commitment to providing a huge selection of high quality foods at great values to its millions of customers," Murphy said. "Fairway Market is a true industry leader in innovative and exciting foods of all types. I'm honored to join this very special retail company and look forward to working with the entire Fairway Market team."

Sanford, who was appointed Interim CEO in February while the company undertook a search for a new CEO, has decided to leave the company to pursue other interests. He joined the company in 2008 as chief administrative officer and then served as CFO and president before becoming interim CEO. Santoro added, "Bill has made significant contributions as a member of Fairway's management team for the last 6 years, and we greatly appreciate his leadership and commitment throughout his time at Fairway."

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