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Imperial Distributors Makes Several Leadership Changes

Imperial Distributors

Imperial Distributors has announced key organizational changes to its leadership team, effective April 1. 

Michael Sleeper, who joined Imperial in 1964 and became president and CEO in 1970, will transition into the role of executive chairman of the board. Sleeper’s entrepreneurial and visionary leadership and commitment to Imperial’s values have shaped its success and influence in the industry.

In his new role, Sleeper will continue to provide strategic guidance to the company’s board and management team.

Joe Kirby, current president of Imperial, will succeed Sleeper as the new CEO. Since joining Imperial in 2003, Kirby has demonstrated exceptional leadership in a variety of roles in the  organization. As CEO, he will leverage his deep industry expertise and dedication to operational efficiency and customer satisfaction to lead Imperial for long-term prosperity. 

Naomi Sleeper, representing the third generation of the Sleeper family to lead Imperial, will assume the role of president and chief growth officer.

Having joined Imperial in 2013, she has played a pivotal role in shaping the company’s strategic direction as EVP. With a focus on innovation, continuous improvement and sustainability, her leadership will drive sales and growth to ensure the company’s lasting impact. 

“As we embark on this new chapter in Imperial’s history, I am confident that Joe and Naomi, working in tandem, will continue to grow our company with vision and purpose,” Sleeper said. “I am excited for the journey ahead under their leadership.” 

Kirby commented, “I am honored to take on the role of CEO and grateful for the opportunity to lead Imperial’s talented team. Together, we will continue to drive success for our customers, team members and stakeholders.”

These organizational changes signify the company’s commitment to its tradition of excellence, enduring partnerships and future prosperity. 

About Imperial Distributors

Imperial Distributors’ mission is to create and provide compelling merchandising and supply-chain solutions that strengthen its retailers and enhance the shoppers’ experience. Imperial has been  recognized repeatedly by The Griffin Report as a Best Place to Work, by The Shelby Report for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and in 2023 by the Better Business Bureau of Central New England for Marketplace Excellence. Founded by Frank Sleeper in 1939, the company has 700 employees and is headquartered in Worcester, Massachussetts. 

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About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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