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Sanders out as Sprouts chairman

Former CEO of Sprouts Farmers Market Doug Sanders is stepping down as executive chairman of the board to become CEO of a technology company, the retailer announced.

Sanders, who first joined Phoenix-based Sprouts in 2002 and ascended to president and CEO in 2012, became executive chairman in August 2015 after a leadership shakeup that promoted Amin Maredia to the CEO role.

Sanders’ resignation will become effective at the board’s next scheduled meeting on Feb. 20.

“Doug has been an integral part of Sprouts since our inception and was instrumental in our evolution from one store in 2002 to one of the largest and fastest growing healthy grocery stores in the country,” Maredia said in a press release. “On behalf of all of our team members, I’d like to thank Doug for his leadership and service to Sprouts, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Sprouts’ board has appointed independent director Joseph Fortunato to serve as non-executive chairman of the board following Sanders’ resignation. Fortunato joined Sprouts’ board in 2013. He previously worked at GNC Holdings in multiple executive positions, including CEO and president.

“As we continue to build on our strategic initiatives to enhance our healthy living business, I look forward to working with Joe in his new role as chairman and leveraging the deep high-growth, specialty retail knowledge that Joe has built over his 40-year career,” said Maredia. 

“I am very excited to serve Sprouts in my new capacity as chairman of the board,” said Fortunato. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Sprouts board and management team to build upon our trajectory and deliver value to our stockholders.” 

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