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SpartanNash CEO resigns, company shifting produce focus

SpartanNash announced that its board of directors has appointed the company's chairman, Dennis Eidson, to the additional roles of interim president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Eidson will serve in these additional roles until the next CEO is identified. He served as CEO from 2008 to 2017, and previously served as SpartanNash's president, chief operating officer and executive vice president of marketing and merchandising during his 16-year tenure with the company. The board also announced that it has accepted the resignation of President and CEO Dave Staples, who is leaving the company and the SpartanNash board.spartan

"The board remains confident in the company's strategic direction and its ability to generate top line growth; however, execution has fallen short of our expectations and we believe that now is the time for a leadership change," said Douglas Hacker, lead independent director of the board. "I want to thank Dennis for returning to the leadership position to guide the company's efforts in revitalizing performance and maximizing long-term shareholder value."

Hacker continued, "On behalf of the board, I also want to thank Dave for his contributions to SpartanNash throughout his tenure. Since joining the company in 2000, Dave has presided over numerous successful business initiatives and has been instrumental in driving SpartanNash's growth. We wish him well in the future."

"I am confident in the strength of our platform and look forward to working with our talented team to deliver improved performance," said Eidson. "Our focus will be on enhancing our distribution business, driving operational execution and organizational development while positioning SpartanNash to achieve long-term profitable growth and improved value for shareholders. In order to provide transparency, we have elected to preview our second quarter financial results, as well as our current outlook for the balance of the year."

The company also made the decision to exit its Indianapolis-based Fresh Kitchen operations. The company will shift its focus and expertise to its produce distribution and fresh cut operations, which have been the hallmark of the Caito business. The Fresh Kitchen, which was acquired in 2017 as part of SpartanNash's acquisition of Caito Foods, is a newly constructed facility that cooks and packages fresh protein-based foods and complete meal solutions for a number of different customers.

The annual net sales impact of exiting the Fresh Kitchen operations will be approximately $20 million. Second quarter preliminary earnings from continuing operations include approximately $14 million of asset impairment expenses associated with Caito's Fresh operations. The company expects to complete its transition by the end of fiscal 2019.