The Giant Company has named John MacDonald, who departed in 2021 to become chief marketing officer of online grocer FreshDirect, to serve as vice president of special projects for the East Coast supermarket chain.
In his new role, MacDonald, who rejoined the Ahold Delhaize-owned retailer the week of Jan. 8, will work with the company’s executive team “on a number of special projects focused on omnichannel growth,” a Giant spokesperson wrote in an email confirming the appointment.
MacDonald, who announced that he had returned to The Giant Company in a LinkedIn post this week, was instrumental in a number of key initiatives for FreshDirect during his time with the New York City-based e-grocer. Those projects include the creation of its loyalty program in 2022 and the launch of a sponsorship program with the New York Yankees last year.
“Spending the last few years in New York City with super talented teams and people have been some of the most rewarding and challenging times of my life both professionally and personally,” MacDonald wrote on LinkedIn.
MacDonald, who formerly served as director of brand marketing for Giant, moved to FreshDirect in September 2021 in the wake of Ahold Delhaize’s decision in 2020 to purchase a majority stake in the company.
While the tie-up with FreshDirect initially paid off for the Dutch grocery company by helping it expand its omnichannel presence in the New York area, FreshDirect ran into headwinds shortly after becoming part of Ahold Delhaize. In August 2022, FreshDirect pulled out of the Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia markets, describing the decision as a way to help it “better serve our customers in the tri-state market surrounding New York City.”
Ahold Delhaize ultimately concluded that owning FreshDirect was not beneficial and decided in November 2023 to sell its shares in the company to rapid delivery firm Getir. In January, FreshDirect said it intended to restructure and would lay off 3.5% of its workforce.
Before joining The Giant Company for the first time in 2019, MacDonald served as vice president and chief marketing officer for Ahold Delhaize’s Giant Food chain, according to his LinkedIn profile. Earlier in his career, MacDonald held other positions with Ahold Delhaize.