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"We are confident the leadership changes being announced will serve as an enabler towards long-term success," said UNFI chairman and CEO Steven Spinner.

At UNFI, John Howard named CFO and Eric Dorne COO

Wholesaler extends CEO Steven Spinner’s agreement through July 2021

United Natural Foods Inc. on Thursday announced a number of changes within the company’s senior management team, while also extending the employment agreement of chairman and chief executive officer Steven Spinner through July 31, 2021.

“Our vision for industry transformation is taking hold as we continue to integrate and provide our customers with scale, services and differentiated distribution alternatives,” said Spinner. “Development of our talent and succession planning are part of my and the UNFI board’s responsibilities and we are confident the leadership changes being announced will serve as an enabler towards long-term success.”


John Howard (left), who has served as interim chief financial officer since August 2019, has been appointed chief financial officer, effective Feb. 9, 2020. Howard joined UNFI in July 2019 and has served as interim chief financial officer since August 2019 after having joined the company as senior vice president, finance and accounting. 


Eric Dorne (right), who serves as the company’s chief information officer (CIO), chief administrative officer (CAO) and oversees the company’s Integration Office and Canadian Business, has been appointed chief operating officer, effective March 8, 2020. Dorne joined UNFI nine years ago after having spent extensive time in the retail sector. 


Chris Testa (left), president and chief marketing officer, will take on additional responsibilities leading UNFI’s professional services, supplier services, customer care and the company's Canadian division, and will report directly to Spinner.


Sean Griffin (right), currently UNFI’s chief operating officer, has announced his retirement effective July 31, 2020. Griffin will focus on continuing the company’s business transformation as well as supporting other key business initiatives. He will remain with UNFI as an advisor until November 2020.

“I truly appreciate Sean’s leadership and dedication during his 10 years at UNFI, and particularly over the past 18 months as we have successfully integrated Supervalu at a faster pace than originally anticipated,” Spinner said. “Sean agreed to extend his time with UNFI following the acquisition of Supervalu and we charted our path forward with his guidance. Sean is a tremendous leader and great friend, and we all wish him all the best in his retirement.”

In other UNFI executive news, Paul Green, currently UNFI's chief supply chain officer, will take on a new role as president, fresh, where he will lead the company’s meat and produce merchandising teams and will report directly to Spinner. Green will continue serving as chief supply chain officer (CSCO) until a successor is named.

Mike Stigers, currently Cub CEO and executive vice president, fresh, will transition UNFI’s Fresh teams to Green once he has completed his move to his new role. Stigers will focus on leading Cub and continuing the sale process for the Minnesota-based grocery retailer and will also report directly to Spinner.

The company has searches underway for a new chief information officer and chief supply chain officer, both of whom will report to Dorne.

The company is also creating a new senior vice president, brands, role to further build its differentiated and exclusive private brands offerings and oversee UNFI corporate branding initiatives. This position will report to Testa.

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