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UNFI Taps GE Vet Matteo Tarditi as New President and CFO

Wholesaler also reports lower net sales, earnings for Q2 and revises fiscal year outlook
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Matteo Tarditi
Matteo Tarditi

United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) has a new head of finance. The grocery wholesaler named Giorgio “Matteo” Tarditi president and chief financial officer, succeeding exiting CFO John W. Howard.

At UNFI, Tarditi will lead corporate finance, treasury, strategy, financial planning and analysis, tax, accounting, investor relations, risk management, and shared services. He brings a broad financial leadership background to his new role, including expertise in reporting for large finance organizations and leading successful ERP implementations and M&A integration. He joins UNFI following more than two decades at General Electric, where he most recently served as financial planning and analysis leader for the GE corporate group. Tarditi earned a master of science degree in finance and business administration from Universita Bocconi in Milan, Italy.

“Matteo is a proven executive who, over the course of his more than 26 years at GE, served as CFO for seven business units, including Renewable Energy and Energy Connections as externally reported segments, and large divisions of the Power, Oil & Gas, Aerospace, and Healthcare businesses,” said Sandy Douglas, UNFI’s CEO and president. “His deep financial expertise and knowledge of these businesses enabled him to successfully drive operational excellence, efficiency, and increased productivity in complex transformations and M&A integrations. A certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, he also led the development and implementation of processes that have increased forecast accuracy, accountability, and continuous improvement. We are pleased to welcome Matteo to our team and look forward to his contributions.”

Tarditi, who will begin his tenure on the fitting Tax Day of April 15, said he welcomes the opportunity to steer the finance function at UNFI. “I am excited by the opportunity to contribute to the mission of feeding families across North America and to support the customer- and supplier-driven strategy and transformation plan for the company. I look forward to leading the finance organization and partnering with the people who make UNFI the market leader and a company that delivers profitable growth and value creation for shareholders,” he declared. 

[RELATED: 6 Hottest Food Trends at UNFI's Orlando Show]

The new CFO takes over at a dynamic time at UNFI. In October, Douglas stepped into the CEO role, assuming the role formerly held by Christopher Testa. 

On March 6, UNFI released its second quarter financial results, which showed a 0.5% decline in net sales to $7.8 billion and an adjusted EBITDA slide of 29.3%, which was an improvement over the 43.5% drop in Q1.

As part of its quarterly update, UNFI revised its FY2024 outlook, lowering net sales expectations and narrowing the ranges for net income and adjusted EBITDA. The wholesaler cited its ongoing work to streamline operational processes and management disciplines for the updated guidance. 

“Our second quarter results reflect our continued focus and progress on execution and profitability improvement through the important holiday selling season. Greater than anticipated benefits from our near-term value creation initiatives and further advances in managing shrink partially offset the expected reduction in procurement gains and start-up costs associated with a new distribution center,” Douglas reported.

Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to more than 30,000 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. 20 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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