Grocery wholesaler United Natural Foods Inc. announced Tuesday that chief operating officer Eric Dorne will retire from the grocery wholesaler effective Oct. 29.
Dorne has spent 46 years in the grocery industry, with the past 11 years in senior leadership roles at UNFI.
UNFI expects to share in the coming months its plans for a seamless transition of Dorne's responsibilities following his retirement. He will continue to oversee UNFI's operations and fulfillment network, as well as lead information technology (IT) through his retirement date, working closely with both his direct reports and the senior leadership team to ensure a smooth transition.
"On behalf of our board of directors, senior leadership team and all UNFI associates, I thank Eric for his tremendous vision, service and leadership over these last 11 years," said UNFI CEO Sandy Douglas. "Eric has helped UNFI navigate significant growth and change, serving as head of the integration team for the transformative acquisition of Supervalu Inc. in 2018, as well as guiding the company through the challenges and opportunities of the COVID-19 pandemic over these past two years. Eric's foresight, planning and strategic leadership have contributed meaningfully to ensuring that UNFI is well positioned to support customer growth, implement new innovations and solutions and adapt to the rapidly changing landscape.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Eric these past 10 months, and I am very happy for him and his family as he begins the transition to retirement."
Dorne spent the first 35 years of his career in a variety of leadership roles at A&P Supermarkets. He joined UNFI as senior vice president and chief information officer in 2011. During his UNFI tenure, he served as chief administrative officer and president of strategic business units prior to assuming his current role as COO. In that role, Dorne has helped the company grow to nearly 30,000 associates, 56 distribution centers and over $27 billion in annual revenue.
"I am grateful for the many opportunities UNFI has provided me over the past 11 years," said Dorne. "I am thankful for the tremendous support from my colleagues, our board of directors and all associates throughout the UNFI network. Together, we have created an organization with great potential built on a strong foundation. I have enjoyed my 46-year journey from part-time grocery bagger to today, and I am excited to watch our next generation of leaders take UNFI to new levels of success."
This piece originally appeared on Supermarket News, a New Hope Network sister website. Visit the site for more grocery trends and insights.