- Sprouts has hired Denise Paulonis as its new chief financial officer (CFO), according to a company press release. Paulonis will officially begin the role on Feb. 21.
- Paulonis comes to Sprouts from arts and crafts retailer Michaels, where she currently serves as CFO. She joined Michaels in 2014 and served as vice president of investor relations, treasury and corporate finance, and senior vice president of finance before being appointed CFO in 2016.
- With more than 25 years of career experience, Paulonis brings expertise in finance, accounting, investor relations, risk management and supply chain. She has also worked at PepsiCo, McKinsey & Company and Bank of America.
The lead financial role for Sprouts has been open for several months after former CFO Brad Lukow, who also served as interim co-CEO before Jack Sinclair was appointed, resigned to pursue other opportunities. Paulonis will be replacing interim CFO Chip Molloy, who stepped into the role from Sprouts’ board of directors in June.
Paulonis’ lack of experience in the natural and organic industry could tamper enthusiasm from investors. But she brings to the role deep financial acumen and experience working for consumer brands.
A more stable C-suite will better position Sprouts for its 2020 plans, which includes a slower pace of growth, and should boost investor confidence. Paulonis said in a statement she is privileged to join Sprouts at this stage in its development.
"This company pioneered making healthy eating accessible to everyday grocery shoppers, and I look forward to working with the team to build upon this foundation to create long-term shareholder value," she said.
Paulonis will report directly to Sinclair and will work closely with Molloy during the transition. Molloy will maintain his position on the grocer’s board of directors, the company said.