Sprouts Farmers Market CEO Amin Maredia is stepping down from his role Dec. 30 to pursue other interests.
The Phoenix-based natural and organic grocer revealed the news today, noting that current President and COO Jim Nielsen, along with CFO Brad Lukow, will serve as co-interim CEOs until a permanent successor has been named, and Maredia will serve as an adviser for a period of time to assist with the transition. The grocer is currently working with a top executive search firm to find Maredia's replacement.
Nielsen joined Sprouts in April 2011 as COO and has held the additional role of president since August 2015. Before joining the grocer, he was president of Henry's Farmers Markets from 2007 until Sprouts combined its operations with the chain's in 2011.
Lukow has been Sprouts' CFO since March 2016. Prior to joining the company, he was EVP and CFO of Shoppers Drug Mart, Canada's largest drug store chain, from 2009 to 2014.
"Over the past three years, Amin has overseen our tremendous growth from coast to coast and put us on a firm footing for continued success," said Joseph Fortunato, chairman of Sprouts. "We wish Amin all the best in his future endeavors. While we search for a new CEO, the board has deep confidence in Jim and Brad to continue executing the company’s strategic initiatives, driving shareholder value and delivering on our mission of 'healthy living for less.'"
Added Maredia: "It has been an enormous privilege to have been part of the Sprouts team during this incredible period in the company’s history over the past eight years. As I transition, it is comforting knowing that Sprouts is well positioned with a strong management team for robust growth and sustained success."
Sprouts is gearing up for continued expansion in the new year. Last month, the grocer said that it plans to open seven new stores in the first quarter of 2019, with a total of 30 new locations on tap for the full year.
Sprouts operates more than 300 stores in 19 states. The company is No. 22 on Progressive Grocer's 2018 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.