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UNFI names new CEO

Sandy Douglas joins the company and its board of directors effective Aug. 9

United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) has named J. Alexander “Sandy” Miller Douglas CEO and a member of its board of directors, effective Aug. 9.

Bringing a broad background and expertise in distribution, sales, marketing and e-commerce to his new role, Douglas was selected after an extensive search to replace Steven Spinner, who earlier revealed his impending retirement as CEO and from the board, both effective Aug. 9. Spinner will continue to provide management and board advisory services to UNFI, however, during a transition period of up to one year after his retirement. 

Douglas was most recently CEO of Staples Inc., leading the North American business-to-business distribution platform’s strategic transformation and shepherding the company through the COVID-19 pandemic. Before his tenure at Staples, Douglas was president of Coca-Cola North America. During Douglas’ 30 years at The Coca-Cola Co., he was also global chief customer officer and held a range of leadership roles across sales and marketing.

“The company’s vision to transform the future of food has never been more important, and the opportunities in front of us are tremendous," said Douglas in a press release. "Under Steve, UNFI has built a strong foundation for growth, and I look forward to working with UNFI’s exceptional leadership team, the 30,000 hard-working associates across this entire organization and our board to continue delivering innovative growth platforms that help make our customers stronger and our operations more successful.”

A version of this article appeared at


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