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UNFI Names Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer

Louis Martin leaving The Coca-Cola Co. to aid wholesaler’s long-term growth strategy
UNFI Louis Martin Main Image
Louis Martin

United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) has appointed Louis Martin to the newly created position of chief strategy and transformation officer, with oversight of the wholesaler’s long-term growth strategy. Martin, who is currently president of the global Walmart customer team at The Coca-Cola Co., will join UNFI on March 21 and will report to UNFI CEO Sandy Douglas.

“As we execute and evolve our Fuel the Future strategy, we are committed to building on both existing and new business platforms to deliver long-term sustainable growth,” noted Douglas. “The creation of this new role reflects our confidence in the value UNFI is positioned to generate across our entire ecosystem, including customers, suppliers, partners and investors. Louis is a seasoned leader with both a strategic and an operations background. His addition to our team will help drive UNFI’s next chapter of growth.”

“I am excited to join UNFI and play a role in accelerating the many growth opportunities ahead,” said Martin, who will be an executive officer of the company. “I look forward to engaging with the talented UNFI team as we build new capabilities to enhance our customer experience.”

Under the new leadership structure, Martin will oversee UNFI’s revenue management, M&A, continuous improvement, and project management office. He’ll also partner to further drive and enable UNFI’s Fuel the Future strategy efforts by unlocking new capabilities in regard to the supply chain, technology, data standardization and automation acceleration. Matt Whitney will maintain oversight of UNFI’s key growth platforms, among them the professional-services, e-commerce and emerging-business units, in his role as the company’s chief growth officer.

During his 15 years with Coca-Cola, Martin held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility, from strategic initiatives, in which role he led the post-acquisition integration of the glaceau beverage business into the North America bottling system, to investor relations, in which role he supported the development and communication of Coca-Cola’s long-term strategic vision to the investment community. Before heading the global Walmart customer team, Martin was SVP of system evolution for Coca-Cola North America, in which capacity he guided the refranchising and transformation efforts of Coca-Cola’s North American bottling, distribution and supply chain businesses.

Before coming to Coca-Cola, Martin was with McKinsey & Co. from 2002 to 2007, where he guided strategic and operational transformation initiatives around the world, including in the United States, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Switzerland and Japan. Martin also worked for E.D. & F. Man, a British Sugar Trade House, from 1994 to 2000, where he ran a commodity trading and distribution company based in Central America. Born in Puerto Rico, Mr. Martin earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Princeton University as well as an MBA in finance and management from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

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. 47 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. 

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