FreshDirect co-founder Jason Ackerman has resigned as chairman and chief executive officer after helping to lead the online grocer for nearly 20 years.
Neither Ackerman nor FreshDirect gave a reason for the move, which was announced Thursday. The Bronx, New York-based, privately held company named co-founder David McInerney to take the CEO reins and join the board of directors.
“Over the last 20 years, we have built and grown this business into an industry leader, one that truly makes a difference in the lives of our customers. Building FreshDirect and FoodKick alongside an incredible group of talented people has been a tremendous experience,” Ackerman said in a statement. “I am confident the team will continue to drive the business forward and stay true to our unwavering commitment to deliver the best-quality food with outstanding customer service.”
Ackerman (left) has served as FreshDirect’s CEO since May 2011, taking over the post following the departure of Richard Braddock. Ackerman and McInerney helped found the company in 1999 with Joe Fedele, who served as CEO from its launch in 2002 until 2004.
FreshDirect said the leadership changes comes as the company enters a new growth phase. In July, for example, the e-grocer moved into a state-of-the-art, 400,000-square-foot campus in the South Bronx area of New York City. In 2016, the company had expanded the business with the launch of FoodKick, an on-demand service offering urban residents a curated selection of food, alcohol and daily essentials, delivered in as soon as an hour.
McInerney has held several leadership roles at FreshDirect. Most recently, he served as chief merchandising officer, overseeing food sourcing, buying and merchandising. He also traveled internationally to cultivate relationships with FreshDirect’s producer partners.
“Jason and I have worked together since the beginning, and we are very proud of what we have accomplished over the years,” said McInerney (left). “This is a very exciting time for the company as we settle into our new home. I look forward to working with the entire FreshDirect team as we usher the company into this next chapter of growth.”
FreshDirect delivers fresh food and groceries—including local and organic produce, top-quality meat, sustainable fish, specialty cheese and fresh dairy—to customers in seven states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, including the New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas and the District of Columbia. The company also offers meal, baked goods and dinner shortcuts.