Food Service & Agriculture, Human Resources, and Retail

Food distributor appoints CEO

March 3, 2017
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Dave Staples
Dave Staples. Courtesy SpartanNash

A local food distributor and retailer is planning for a change in leadership later this year, following the announcement that its CEO will retire.

Byron Center-based SpartanNash said yesterday Dennis Eidson, CEO and chairman of the board, plans to retire as CEO after the annual meeting on May 23. Eidson will remain as chairman of the board after his retirement.

SpartanNash said Dave Staples, the company’s president and COO, has been chosen to succeed Eidson as CEO.

Staples was also appointed to the company’s board of directors, effective immediately.

Staples’ background

Staples has been part of the executive team for 17 years.

Prior to his current role, he served as the company’s CFO for 16 years.

He is a board member for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Grand Rapids Symphony.

He’s a CPA and a graduate of Michigan State University.

Succession plan

Eidson said the SpartanNash board has been “continuously engaged” in succession planning and “diligently assessing our leadership needs” to ensure the right individual is positioned to lead the company.

Eidson said Staples has been an “instrumental member” of the executive team and was a “key leader” in the company’s 2013 merger with Nash Finch.

“Dave’s thought leadership, strategic insight, extensive knowledge of our industry and commitment to advancing our culture and core values will serve SpartanNash well for years to come,” Eidson said.

Eidson said he’s exiting the role of CEO at a time when SpartanNash is “poised for growth.”

Eidson’s tenure

Tim O’Donovan, SpartanNash lead director, said under Eidson’s leadership, SpartanNash has achieved “remarkable success.”

“Dennis’ demonstrated leadership through the merger with Nash Finch Company and the successful integration of Spartan Stores and Nash Finch has positioned our company for continued success and growth,” O’Donovan said.

He also noted Eidson’s leadership put the company on solid financial footing, which made its recent acquisitions of Indianapolis-based Caito Foods Service and its affiliate Blue Ribbon Transport possible.

“We are grateful to Dennis for his unparalleled contributions and look forward to the future with Dave Staples at the helm,” O’Donovan said.


SpartanNash is a Fortune 400 company whose core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent grocery retailers, national accounts, its corporate-owned retail stores and U.S. military commissaries.

The company serves customer locations in 47 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain and Egypt.

SpartanNash currently operates 155 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare Supermarkets, Family Fresh Market, D&W Fresh Market and SunMart.

It employs a workforce of 15,000.

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