United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) will bring McDonald’s Corp. veteran Mahrukh Hussain on board, effective May 16, to serve as its general counsel and corporate secretary reporting to UNFI CEO Sandy Douglas.
Hussain will be responsible for UNFI’s legal and governance activities, including compliance, employment law, securities and board governance, strategic transactions and contracts, and real estate. She will also leverage her 22 years of experience at McDonald’s to help UNFI’s executive team implement its Fuel the Future growth strategy.
“Mahrukh is a great addition to UNFI as she brings a wealth of experience overseeing large corporate legal functions with a passion for building collaborative support teams,” said Douglas. “With our focus on helping customers grow and succeed and on continuing to expand market reach, UNFI’s legal function will be a critical link in supporting business growth, future commercial transactions, and UNFI’s high standards for ethics and compliance. Mahrukh will also help us continue diversifying our leadership team, bringing fresh thinking and new perspectives to how we work and support our more than 28,000 company associates.”
The company’s Fuel the Future strategy, which it unveiled last year, is composed of six pillars that work together to deliver the “FUTURE” by advancing key areas of the UNFI business. Highlights of the plan include fulfilling power in scale, unlocking customer experience, investing in high-margin growth platforms, enhancing the associate experience, retail optimization and driving overall growth.
“UNFI has a tremendous growth plan, coupled with a long history of doing the right thing for its customers, associates, suppliers and communities,” said Hussain. “Strong growth and equally strong values are important to me, and I look forward to joining UNFI’s leadership team and supporting the next chapter in the company’s exciting journey.”
The company recently announced the appointment of Louis Martin to the newly created position of chief strategy and transformation officer, with oversight of the wholesaler’s long-term growth strategy. Shamim Mohammad was also recently named to UNFI's board of directors. Appointed to a one-year term, he is the 11th director on the board and brings a technology background to the organization at a time of rapid tech acceleration in the industry.
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.