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SpartanNash President and COO Dave Staples (left) will succeed CEO Dennis Eidson in May.

Staples to take over as SpartanNash CEO

Eidson to retire in May in planned succession

SpartanNash CEO Dennis Eidson will retire following the retailer’s annual meeting May 23 and be succeeded by President and COO Dave Staples, the retailer-distributor said Friday.

Eidson has served the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company for 17 years, succeeding Craig Sturken as CEO in October of 2008. Eidson will continue in his role as chairman, the company said.

Staples was appointed to the board of SpartanNash on Friday. He has served as COO of SpartanNash since 2015 and was appointed president last August. He previously served for 16 years as Spartan’s CFO.

Analysts frequently cite SpartanNash as possessing among the best management teams in the industry, delivering financial performance in spite of operating in slow-growing Upper Midwest markets. Eidson and Staples were instrumental in guiding Spartan Stores through the transformative acquisition of its larger rival Nash Finch Co. in 2013 and subsequent acquisition of Caito Foods last year.

“Under Dennis’ guidance, the company has achieved remarkable success in executing its business strategies and leveraging the food distribution, retail, and military segments to achieve sustainable growth,” Tim O’Donovan, lead director of the company, said in a statement. “Dennis’ demonstrated leadership through the merger with Nash Finch Company and the successful integration of Spartan Stores and Nash Finch has positioned our company for continued success and growth. This is further exemplified by the company’s solid financial position and its ability to pursue future growth through the recent acquisition of Indianapolis-based Caito Foods Service and Blue Ribbon Transport. We are grateful to Dennis for his unparalleled contributions, and look forward to the future with Dave Staples at the helm.”

Eidson called Staples “a key leader in our transformational merger in 2013. His leadership has been an essential component to our success and I have great confidence in his ability to lead our remarkable group of associates to deliver the best in customer focus and service.

“Dave’s thought leadership, strategic insight, extensive knowledge of our industry, and commitment to advancing our culture and core values will serve SpartanNash well for years to come,” Eidson added. “He has my full and enthusiastic support, along with the support of our board, the executive management team, and our associates.”

Staples is a certified public accountant, and he sits on the boards of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Grand Rapids Symphony. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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