Whole Foods Adds Four to Board

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Whole Foods Adds Four to Board

Whole Foods Market has four new members on its board of directors, bringing the current size of the board to 10. The new board members are Stephanie Kugelman, vice chairman emeritus of Young & Rubicam, Inc. and chairman of A Second Opinion strategic consulting group, and Kip Tindell, chairman and c.e.o. of The Container Store, as well as Jonathan A. Seiffer, partner, and Jonathan D. Sokoloff, managing partner, both of Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. (LGP).

Seiffer and Sokoloff have joined the board in connection with LGP's recent preferred stock investment in Whole Foods. The grocer closed its sale of preferred stock to LGP today.

"These four talented leaders bring unique wisdom and complement the experience of our current board members," noted Whole Foods chairman, c.e.o., and co-founder John Mackey. "In this challenging economic environment, we feel fortunate to have this fresh addition of intellectual capital."

Before attaining her present positions, Kugelman was vice chairman chief strategic officer of Young and Rubicam brands. Prior to that, she was chairman and c.e.o. of the New York flagship office of Young and Rubicam. Kugelman was the first account planner to head the lead office of a top-20 advertising agency. Earlier she was managing director and vice chairman of Y&RNY, as well as the director of the agency's brand planning group. She was additionally played a major role in Y&R's new business development.

Tindell opened the first Container Store location of in Dallas in 1978. Since that time the company has grown to 46 stores across the country. Retail analysts attribute The Container Store's success to its adherence to an inventory mix solely devoted to storage and organization products.

Seiffer has been at LGP since 1994. He's a member of the boards of David's Bridal, Inc.; The Sports Authority, Inc.; The Tire Rack, Inc.; and Varsity Brands, Inc.

Sokoloff joined LGP 1990. He serves on the boards such companies as The Container Store; David's Bridal, Inc.; Jetro Cash & Carry, Inc.; Rite Aid Corp.; The Sports Authority, Inc.; The Tire Rack, Inc.; and Varsity Brands, Inc.

Last month Whole Foods unveiled an agreement to sell $425 million of its Series A 8.00 percent Redeemable Convertible Exchangeable Participating Preferred Stock to Green Equity Investors V, L.P., Green Equity Investors Side V, L.P. and Thyme Coinvest, LLC, affiliates of LGP. At that time Mackey referred to LGP as "one of the most experienced and successful investors in the retail industry," adding that its "significant stake in Whole Foods Market is a vote of confidence for the company's business model and future growth potential."

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 270 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, operating under such banners as Whole Foods Market, Fresh & Wild, and Harry's Farmers Market. The company employs over 53,000 team members.