UNFI Names Muehlbauer to Board, Griffin New COO
UNFI has appointed James Muehlbauer, a seasoned financial and strategic executive, to its board of directors, expanding the body to nine members to bring on additional expertise following the Supervalu acquisition. Muehlbauer most recent role was EVP, chief financial and administrative officer for The Valspar Co.
“Jim’s extensive financial background, with strong commercial and leadership skills, will make him a valuable addition to our board of directors,” said Steven Spinner, UNFI chairman and CEO. “His knowledge and experience in broad strategic transitions and large-scale integration efforts directly aligns with the qualifications and expertise identified through our board-refreshment process.”
The wholesaler also named Sean Griffin COO, in addition to his role as CEO of Supervalu, to accelerate the integration of UNFI and Supervalu into one company operating under a national UNFI leadership team. This change will advance both UNFI's execution of its long-term strategic objectives and short-term synergy, revenue and EBITDA growth objectives. Griffin will oversee all of UNFI’s sales, services, operations, merchandising and retail functions.
“We feel very good about the work accomplished over the last six months to integrate UNFI and Supervalu, to align our people and to implement the necessary process and systems changes,” Spinner said. “As such, we’re now well positioned to accelerate our migration to one company. Sean is the ideal candidate to assume his previous role as our chief operating officer where he’ll influence and guide sales and operations across our entire organization.”
During his nine-year tenure with UNFI, Griffin has held several senior leadership roles, including COO from 2014 to 2018. He has been Supervalu's CEO since October 2018. Prior to joining UNFI, Griffin was east region broadline president of Performance Food Group. He has also held various leadership roles of increasing responsibility in the foodservice distribution industry with U.S. Foodservice, Alliant Foodservice and Sysco Corp.
Providence, R.I.-based UNFI is a North American food wholesaler delivering a wide variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent grocery stores, conventional supermarket chains, ecommerce retailers and foodservice customers.