Food Service & Agriculture, Human Resources, and Retail

SpartanNash's president and CEO resigns

August 12, 2019
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Dave Staples
Dave Staples. Courtesy SpartanNash

The president and CEO of a locally based grocery and food distribution company has resigned.

The board of directors of Byron Center-based SpartanNash said today it has accepted the resignation of Dave Staples as president, CEO and board member, effective immediately.

SpartanNash Board Chair and former CEO Dennis Eidson is replacing Staples as interim president and CEO.

“The board remains confident in the company’s strategic direction and its ability to generate top line growth; however, execution has fallen short of our expectations, and we believe that now is the time for a leadership change,” said Douglas Hacker, lead independent director of the board.

The company had 2018 revenue of $8.06 billion, down from $8.13 billion in 2017.

“I want to thank Dennis for returning to the leadership position to guide the company’s efforts in revitalizing performance and maximizing long-term shareholder value.”

He added: “On behalf of the board, I also want to thank Dave for his contributions to SpartanNash throughout his tenure. Since joining the company in 2000, Dave has presided over numerous successful business initiatives and has been instrumental in driving SpartanNash’s growth. We wish him well in the future.”

Eidson served as CEO from 2008-17 and previously served as SpartanNash’s president, COO and EVP of marketing and merchandising during his 16-year tenure with the company.

“I am confident in the strength of our platform and look forward to working with our talented team to deliver improved performance,” Eidson said.

“Our focus will be on enhancing our distribution business, driving operational execution and organizational development, while positioning SpartanNash to achieve long-term profitable growth and improved value for shareholders.”

Exiting Fresh Kitchen

In conjunction with the leadership transition news, SpartanNash also said it is exiting its Indianapolis-based Fresh Kitchen operations to improve its bottom line within the food distribution segment.

The company will shift its focus and expertise to its produce distribution and fresh-cut operations under the Caito business.

Fresh Kitchen, which was acquired in 2017 as part of SpartanNash’s acquisition of Caito Foods, is a newly constructed facility that cooks and packages fresh protein-based foods and complete meal solutions for customers.

The annual net sales impact of exiting the Fresh Kitchen operations will be about $20 million.

The company expects to complete the exit by the end of fiscal 2019.

SpartanNash

SpartanNash (Nasdaq: SPTN) is a distributor of grocery products to independent and chain grocery retailers, its corporate-owned stores and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges.

It serves customer locations in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Europe, Bahrain, Djibouti and Egypt.

SpartanNash also operates 160 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare Supermarkets, Martin’s Super Markets, D&W Fresh Market, VG’s Grocery, Dan’s Supermarket and Family Fresh Market.

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