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Wild Oats Dismisses Ops VP

BOULDER, Co. -- Wild Oats Markets here fired Daniel Bolstad, its newly appointed s.v.p. of operations, for cause, the company said Monday. The organic and natural retailer, which disclosed the dismissal in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said the termination of Bolstad's employment took effect last Thursday.

Wild Oats hired Bolstad on July 25. He had previously been s.v.p. of operations for ShopKo Stores Inc.

Bruce Bowman, Wild Oats' s.v.p. of business development, will serve as interim s.v.p. of operations until a permanent replacement for Bolstad is found. Bowman had previously held the s.v.p./operations position from from 2001 until Bolstad was hired.

Published reports said that Bolstad's employment agreement with Wild Oats had guaranteed him an annual salary of $290,000, plus a bonus of at least $72,500. He also forfeits 100,000 stock options received under the contract.

Dow Jones reported that the chain's spokeswoman, Sonja Tuitele said "The violation was a personnel issue, and it's nothing that would affect the company's financial situation."

With more than $1 billion in annual sales, Wild Oats operates 111 natural foods stores in 24 states and British Columbia, Canada.
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