Supervalu CEO expands role at UNFI

United Natural Foods Inc. has appointed James Muehlbauer, an experienced financial and strategic executive, to its board of directors effective April 22. The company also announced that effective April 22, Sean Griffin will take on the expanded role of chief operating officer in addition to serving as Supervalu chief executive officer. In this capacity, Griffin will oversee all UNFI's sales, services, operations, merchandising and retail functions.unfi

The company said Muehlbauer's appointment furthers UNFI's commitment to expand the size of its board and bring on additional expertise in areas that serve UNFI's new strategic objectives following the recent Supervalu acquisition.

Muehlbauer joins the Board having most recently served from 2013 to 2017 as the executive vice president, chief financial and administrative officer for The Valspar Corp. "Jim's extensive financial background with strong commercial and leadership skills will make him a valuable addition to our board of directors," said Steven L. Spinner, UNFI chairman and CEO. "His knowledge and experience in broad strategic transitions and large-scale integration efforts directly aligns with the qualifications and expertise identified through our Board refreshment process."

UNFI also announced that to accelerate its integration of Supervalu to one organization it will now operate under a national UNFI leadership team. This change will advance both UNFI's execution of its long-term strategic objectives and short-term synergy, revenue and EBITDA growth objectives.

Griffin will now oversee all UNFI's sales, services, operations, merchandising and retail functions.

During his nine-year tenure with UNFI, Griffin has served in several senior leadership roles including chief operating officer from 2014 to 2018. He has served as Supervalu CEO since October 2018. Prior to joining UNFI, Griffin was East Region Broadline President of Performance Food Group. He has also held various leadership roles of increasing responsibility in the foodservice distribution industry with U.S. Foodservice, Alliant Foodservice and Sysco Corp.

"We feel very good about the work accomplished over the last six months to integrate UNFI and Supervalu, to align our people and to implement the necessary process and systems changes," said Spinner. "As such, we're now well positioned to accelerate our migration to one company. Sean is the ideal candidate to assume his previous role as our chief operating officer where he'll influence and guide sales and operations across our entire organization."

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