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New Role, New Exec at UNFI

Natural grocery wholesaler taps Erin Horvath for chief supply chain transformation officer
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Erin Horvath
Erin Horvath

United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) has named Erin Horvath as its chief supply chain transformation officer. In this newly-created position – timely, given the overall supply chain climate over the past few years and UNFI’s own growth – she will oversee the wholesaler’s fulfillment network transformation and lead automation initiatives.

Horvath joins UNFI from AmerisourceBergen Corp., a global pharmaceutical wholesale company. She most recently served as chief transformation officer for that company, after steadily moving up in roles and responsibilities for the last 17 years. Her background also includes management consulting positions at Smart and Associates and Arthur Anderson Business Consulting and roles at McMaster-Carr Supply Co. and the U.S. Department of the Navy. 

Horvath earned an MBA from Villanova University and an undergraduate degree in business administration from George Washington University. She is a current board member for the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation and a recent board member at Healthcare Ready.

“UNFI has a tremendous history and foundation in place, coupled with an exciting growth roadmap that is both aggressive and achievable,” Horvath said. “The food industry, like many industries, is experiencing significant change. UNFI’s focus on, and investment in, advancing technologies and transforming operations is a testament to leadership’s commitment to a long-term strategy that will best support customers and suppliers within this evolving landscape.”

She will report to UNFI CEO Sandy Douglas, who has made several leadership changes since joining the company in August 2021. “As we work to be the most valuable partner to our grocery retailer customers, we must continue evolving our supply chain network, leveraging automation, creating new efficiencies and capabilities within our facilities, and using technology, data, and insights to improve our customer experience,” he declared. “Erin has a wealth of experience, including a unique combination of strategy execution, operations, customer analytics, and software implementation. Throughout her career she has successfully worked across teams and departments and I’m looking forward to seeing how her experience and fresh thinking can best support Mark Bushway, our chief supply chain officer, and Louis Martin, our chief strategy and transformation officer, as they partner together to drive positive results.”

On that point, Horvath’s hiring comes on the heels of other structural changes as UNFI pursues its three-year “Fuel the Future” strategy for growth. This summer, the grocery wholesaler made several leadership changes, including the appointment of Steve Dietz as head of the company’s wholesale platform and the expansion of responsibilities in the services platform for President Christopher Testa.

Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and foodservice customers. The largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, the company is No. 49 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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