UNFI Promotes 2 to C-Suite Amid Broader Business Transformation

COO, president of wholesale roles filled
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
UNFI, Horvath and Martin
Erin Horvath and Louis Martin

As it works to better align leadership teams and resources to drive its customer-centric strategy and transformation agenda, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) is elevating two of its associates to c-suite positions. Erin Horvath has been appointed to the role of COO, while Louis Martin has been named president of wholesale.

UNFI’s four-part transformation program includes network automation and optimization, commercial value creation, digital offering enhancement, and infrastructure unification and modernization. The company says the new appointments help form a team of operators with considerable experience with these types of capability improvement programs.

[Read more: "EXCLUSIVE: 5 Food Trends From UNFI's Selling Show"]

Horvath will be responsible for driving project management, enhancing UNFI’s legacy integration and physical infrastructure, and ensuring successful implementation of the digital, technology, and automation initiatives within the company’s transformation plan. Horvath joined UNFI in October 2022 after more than 17 years in senior leadership roles with AmerisourceBergen Corp.

Martin joined UNFI in March 2022 and has helped develop UNFI’s strategy and transformation agenda, and has also spearheaded the creation and early-stage development of the company’s digital roadmap. Before joining UNFI, Martin served for 15 years in a variety of senior leadership positions with The Coca-Cola Co.

“This operational leadership team, made up of UNFI veterans and new leaders, is equipped to help us accelerate improvement in our customer and supplier experience, our operating efficiency, and digital and physical infrastructure,” said UNFI CEO Sandy Douglas. “With our transformation plan nearly complete and the realignment of our leadership teams in place, we are well positioned to become a unique value creator for our customers, suppliers, associates, and shareholders.”

In December, UNFI appointed Ron Selders president of fresh, a role centered on the crucial deli, bakery, produce and meat categories. He was elevated from his most recent role as SVP of bakery and deli.

Meanwhile, UNFI is adjusting its outlook for the rest of the fiscal year and going back to the drawing board for its FY24 targets. The change in expectations comes after a second quarter performance that saw inflation-fueled sales gains tamped down by declines in profitability.

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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