KeHE President and CEO Brandon Barnholt announced that Executive Vice President Greg Leonard will be stepping aside from his full-time executive role at KeHE effective April 30, 2014.
“Greg will not be leaving KeHE entirely,” stated Barnholt. “He will be transitioning to an ‘ambassador’ role where he will represent both KeHE and the natural products industry. Greg has made this company and this industry his life’s work. He is a true visionary whose energy and knowledge have been a driving force in making KeHE what it is today and have allowed him to significantly impact our industry as a whole. Greg will be a great Ambassador for our company and advisor to me and other senior leaders for years to come.”
Leonard amplified by stating, “I certainly do not intend to leave KeHE entirely, as I am much too invested in the goal of seeing this company become a truly iconic distributor of natural, specialty and fresh products to retailers nationally. Neither do I plan to leave the natural and specialty products industry. I have spent 40 years in this business and love it, and I’m just not the retiring type.”
Barnholt added, “Greg only has one speed—full on—geared totally toward making KeHE world class. Personally, I’m excited to learn if he has a lower RPM mode and what that will look like!”
Leonard, a 40-year veteran of the natural products industry, began his career at Tree of Life in 1974 and until 1986 was responsible for the company’s purchasing activity, including bulk foods. In the mid-1980s, he transitioned from purchasing into a number of marketing roles, including, as vice president of merchandising, supervising the development and marketing of Tree of Life’s company-owned natural and organic brands. During his career, Leonard has contributed to the development of Tree of Life’s marketing support programs and was responsible for the development and launch of Tree of Life’s proprietary Smart Assortment team. Currently, Leonard is KeHE’s executive vice president of independent sales, responsible for KeHE’s national sales and account support activities in the independent conventional and independent natural channels.