The SpartanNash Co.’s board of directors has appointed Chairman Dennis Eidson to the additional roles of interim president and CEO, effective immediately. The announcement follows the departure of Dave Staples, who is leaving the company and the SpartanNash board, the company says.
Eidson will serve in the additional roles until the next CEO is identified. 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.
“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. “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.
“On behalf of the board, I also want to thank Dave for his contributions to SpartanNash throughout his tenure,” Hacker added. “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.”
“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.”
Exit of Fresh Kitchen operations
SpartanNash also has made the decision to exit its Indianapolis-based Fresh Kitchen operations to improve operating earnings and EBITDA results within the food distribution segment. The company says it will shift its focus and expertise to its produce distribution and Fresh Cut operations, which have been the hallmark of the Caito business.
The 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 a number of different customers.