Artificial intelligence-powered grocery service Hungryroot has named Alex Weinstein its chief digital officer and Stephanie Retcho its chief marketing officer. According to the company, the hires will help further Hungryroot’s mission of pioneering a new way to grocery shop, and bolster its overall leadership team as it gears up for the next phase of growth. These executive moves follow a recent Series C Round of $40 million in funding to help grow the team, invest in automation technology and scale overall marketing efforts.
Weinstein comes to Hungryroot from Chicago-based Grubhub, where he was SVP of growth, while Retcho was formerly chief marketing officer at Stamford, Conn.-based online travel agency and metasearch engine Kayak and is joining Hungryroot as its first-ever executive to hold that role. Both Weinstein and Retcho will help transform the brand’s overall marketing and digital strategy as Hungryroot continues to see accelerated growth and demand for its service.
“2021 has been a pivotal year for Hungryroot as we continue to experience significant growth in both customer acquisition and retention,” noted Ben McKean, founder and CEO of New York-based Hungryroot. “We’re currently hyper-focused on investing in our industry-leading predictive modeling technology, driving continued success through performance marketing, and creating a strong competitive advantage that benefits our customers. Alex will be key in helping to drive our AI advancements and digital efforts forward from a performance marketing perspective, while Stephanie will lead the charge in owning our personal-grocer messaging and scaling brand marketing.”
As chief digital officer, Weinstein will seek to create an industry-leading grocery shopping experience through its proprietary technology. Combining the company’s deep expertise in food science with machine-learning best practices, he will expand Hungryroot’s data-driven understanding of consumers’ grocery preferences to develop a superior AI-enabled grocery experience. At Grubhub, Weinstein boosted the company’s top line from $500 million to $2 billion. Before that, he headed marketing technology and personalization efforts at eBay and spent seven years at Microsoft driving platform and big data initiatives.
Retcho will be responsible for creating differentiation for Hungryroot’s personal-grocery brand and connecting it to consumers, while driving growth via marketing efforts and strategic partnerships. Retcho brings more than 20 years of experience to her latest role. At Kayak, she led an international team, overseeing all aspects of marketing, through six straight years of growth that included an IPO and a subsequent acquisition by Booking Holdings. Prior to Kayak, Retcho worked in management positions at ad agencies such as TBWA Chiat Day and McCann Erickson.
Along with the new hires, Hungryroot recently promoted two existing employees to its c-suite team. Dave Kong, who has been with the company since its inception, became chief technology officer, in which capacity he will lead the charge in optimizing its AI-enabled platform and proprietary algorithm further, based on customer preference, recipe variety and inventory stock. Kong’s computer science and engineering experience includes stints at Groupon, Savored and Microsoft. Luke Vaccaro, who earlier worked at Amazon and General Electric, became COO, in which role he will continue to oversee Hungryroot’s manufacturing, supply chain, sourcing and customer care functions. Under Vaccaro’s leadership, the company is poised to increase its number of grocery products by 60% through the end of 2021, and plans to open a fourth fulfilment center in 2022.
“All four of these key executives bring extensive experience and a proven track record of taking fast-growing consumer tech companies to the next level in each of their respective functions,” said McKean. “We’re thrilled to expand our leadership team and leverage their collective expertise to help propel Hungryroot through its next phase of growth.”
Having launched in 2015 as a better-for-you food brand, Hungryroot has evolved into a service offering predictive, personalized grocery delivery. As well as offering a range of brands, the company continues to develop its own line of innovative healthy products.