- United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) announced Wednesday the promotions of two senior executives: Erin Horvath to chief operating officer and Louis Martin to president of wholesale.
- The two promotions fall in line with UNFI’s transformation agenda, which aims to improve shareholder value by streamlining its customer and supplier experience as well as operating efficiencies.
- The announcement follows UNFI’s disappointing earnings call earlier this month, where the company saw a more than 70% drop in net income and earnings per diluted share.
In their new roles, Horvath and Martin will join UNFI President Chris Testa, who also oversees the company’s services platform, to form a team of operators aimed at helping the company “accelerate improvement in our customer and supplier experience, our operating efficiency and digital and physical infrastructure,” CEO Sandy Douglas said in the announcement.
Horvath, UNFI’s new COO, is responsible for project management meant to move the company’s transformation plan as well as implementing digital, technological and automation initiatives and making enhancements to the company’s physical infrastructure, according to the announcement. Chief Supply Chain Officer Mark Bushway will report to Horvath and assist with supply chain operations.
Horvath started at UNFI in October as the company’s chief supply chain transformation officer.
Martin led the early-stage creation and development of UNFI’s digital roadmap. He started at UNFI last March, serving as the company’s chief strategy and transformation officer. In the new role, Martin will lead the evolution of UNFI’s customer-centric strategy by integrating national and regional customer organizations, revenue growth management and the commercial planning teams, per the announcement.
Douglas noted that the company’s transformation plan is “nearly “complete” and that the leadership realignment is now “in place.”
In July 2022, UNFI unveiled a new leadership structure with the goal of fueling more “value creation for our shareholders, and long-term sustainable growth for our customers and suppliers.”
Only eight months later, UNFI is revamping its leadership following a significant hit to the company’s profitability in its second quarter — a hit caused by the company overestimating benefits it had previously received in procuring products ahead of price increases from suppliers.
UNFI’s stock price is currently down by half since last summer when its original leadership restructuring was rolled out.
UNFI is moving at full speed to complete its transformation agenda. In addition to promoting two new executive positions, the company also announced last week the implementation of new scanning technology as well as robotics powered by artificial intelligence and software automation to its Centralia, Washington, distribution center. This upgrade, which is part of its four-part transformation agenda, aims to improve its supply chain capabilities.