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As McLane Grocery president, Smith will lead a $33 billion business providing supply chain solutions to more than 70,000 retailer locations.

McLane taps Chris Smith to lead grocery unit

Supply and logistics veteran joins distributor from Walgreens Boots Alliance

McLane Co. has hired Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) executive Chris Smith as president of McLane Grocery.

The Temple, Texas-based distributor said Wednesday that Smith, previously senior vice president and global strategic logistics officer at WBA and chief supply chain officer for the Walgreens drugstore chain, will lead a $33 billion business unit providing supply chain solutions to more than 70,000 retailer locations.

Chris Smith-McLane Grocery.jpg“I am thrilled to join the McLane team and for the new and exciting opportunities ahead,” Smith (left) said in a statement. “McLane has a long history, a great reputation and is a trusted supply-chain services leader. I look forward to contributing to its near-term and long-term success.” 

Smith brings nearly 30 years of experience in supply chain, logistics and operations to McLane. At WBA, he oversaw supply chain functions for 9,200 Walgreens stores through 16 distribution centers and 9,000 warehouse employees as the retailer’s chief supply chain officer. Before that, he spent a year-and-a-half at C&S Wholesale Grocers, the nation’s largest grocery distributor, as executive vice president and chief supply chain officer.

Smith joined C&S after more than 13 years in distribution and logistics leadership positions at pharmaceutical distribution giant McKesson Corp., most recently as senior vice president for the Northeast region. And prior to that, he spent 12 years at The Home Depot, rising to director of logistics and finance.

“We are very pleased to have Chris join our team,” McLane CEO Tony Frankenberger stated. “He brings a wealth of supply chain and logistics leadership experience across diverse industries that will contribute to many areas of our business.” 

One of the nation’s largest supply-chain companies, McLane distributes grocery, foodservice and nonfood products to convenience stores, mass merchants, drugstores, supermarkets and chain restaurants. Its McLane Grocery and McLane Foodservice divisions operate more than 80 distribution centers and one of the country’s largest private fleets. The company supplies more than 50,000 consumer products to nearly 110,000 locations nationwide. A Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, McLane also distributes alcoholic beverages through its Empire Distributors subsidiary.

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