Mike Zechmeister will resign as CFO of United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) in Providence, Rhode Island, effective Aug. 23 to pursue an opportunity outside the company. John W. Howard has been appointed interim CFO while the company begins an internal and external search for Zechmeister’s permanent replacement. Howard joined the company in July as SVP of finance and accounting.
Steven L. Spinner, chairman and CEO of UNFI, said, “I thank Mike for his contributions to UNFI over the past four years of significant growth and change. In the near term, we’re fortunate to have John’s experience and financial acumen available to our board, leadership team and finance organization. John will help continue our efforts to align and build a world-class finance organization, focusing on financial planning data, systems and processes to drive and achieve our strategic business objectives.”
Howard brings more than 20 years of experience leading finance teams, most recently as interim CFO for Prime Therapeutics. Before joining Prime, Howard served as VP of corporate finance at Valspar Corp. He will work closely with UNFI’s finance leadership, executive team and board of directors as the company continues to execute its integration and growth plan.
UNFI is a food wholesaler delivering a variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, include natural product superstores, independent retailer, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and food service customers. By providing this broader selection, differentiated assortment of services and compelling brands for every aisle, UNFI is uniquely positioned to deliver great food, more choices, and fresh thinking to customers everywhere. Combined with Supervalu, it is the largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America with expected annual sales of more than $21 billion.