- United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) has named former FedEx executive Gloria Boyland to its board of directors, the company announced Thursday.
- Boyland is a former staff vice president and corporate vice president at FedEx, where she led and evaluated operations technology initiatives, customer experience improvements and new service offerings. Prior to that, she held leadership positions at GE Capital Corp. and currently serves as a strategic advisor for Aurora Technologies.
- Seeking to refresh its board, UNFI has named three new directors over the past three years. It now has 10 directors, eight of whom are independent.
Boyland’s operational expertise and history in supply chain management make her a good fit to help guide UNFI as it begins a new year, Chairman and CEO Steve Spinner said in a statement.
“Gloria’s extensive experience leading operational transformation at global companies, coupled with her leading-edge, future-focused logistics and supply chain knowledge, make her a valuable addition to our Board,” he said.
In addition to her more than 15 years at FedEx, where she oversaw a team that evaluated emerging technologies, she worked on mergers and acquisitions for GE’s financial services division, where she also spent eight years as a commercial transactions and investment attorney.
Boyland serves on the boards of Chesapeake Energy Corporation and Vontier Corporation, a transportation technology company, and has received several career honors, including being named among Black Enterprise’s 2017 Most Powerful Corporate Executives and the magazine’s 2019 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America list. In 2016, she was appointed to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation.
Along with refreshing its board, UNFI has sought to add diversity to its list of directors. In its announcement, the company pointed out that four of its 10 board members are women, and two are people of color.
At its investors' meeting last week, UNFI shareholders approved a controversial executive compensation package for Spinner when he retires later this year. The $8.5 million cash “say-on-pay” measure passed with 19.7 million shares in favor, 13 million against and 444,508 abstaining, while an amendment to the incentive plan passed even more narrowly, with just more than 19 million shares in favor, just under 14 million against and 180,735 abstaining.
Opposition to the payout plan was led by Institutional Shareholder Services and the New York City Public Pension Funds. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which also opposed the payout, sent a letter to UNFI shareholders in December noting Spinner’s “disastrous” performance as chief executive over the past 12 years, including a 61% drop in the company’s share price since it acquired Supervalu in 2018.
Although that acquisition proved rocky for UNFI, Spinner and other UNFI executives have said it helped the company capitalize on elevated demand during the pandemic. UNFI’s net sales increased 6% to $6.67 billion and adjusted earnings rose 30.6% to $159 million, according to the company's first quarter 2021 earnings report.