SpartanNash board chair to retire this spring

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Dennis Eidson Courtesy SpartanNash

Dennis Eidson will retire from his post as SpartanNash’s board chair this spring when his term expires.

The Byron Center-based grocery chain said Monday that Eidson will step down from the board of directors when his term expires at the 2021 annual meeting May 26.

The board’s nominating and corporate governance committee nominated current lead independent director Douglas Hacker to succeed Eidson as chair, and it is anticipated Hacker will be elected to the role following the annual meeting.

“It’s an honor to be nominated to succeed Dennis as chairman,” Hacker said. “Few executives have accomplished more than Dennis during his nearly 20 years of leadership at SpartanNash. On behalf of the board and all of us at SpartanNash, I want to thank Dennis for his distinguished service as we continue his unwavering commitment to driving growth and shareholder value.”

Eidson joined Spartan Stores in 2003 as chief merchandising officer during a period of industry turmoil and not long after Spartan had become a publicly traded company. He became CEO in 2008, a role he held until 2017, by which time he had merged Spartan Stores with Nash Finch Company to form SpartanNash. He became a member of the board in 2007 and was appointed board chair in 2016. He also served as interim CEO from 2019-20 before the company appointed Tony Sarsam as CEO in September 2020.

During Eidson’s tenure with the company, SpartanNash said it grew from $2.1 billion to $9 billion in revenue.

“It has been a privilege to be a part of SpartanNash’s growth and transformation over the years,”  Eidson said. “I have been fortunate to work with a talented board and management team throughout my tenure, including Doug. His expertise, insights and deep knowledge of SpartanNash’s business make him the logical choice to serve as chairman. As we make this planned transition, I have full confidence that the board, along with CEO Tony Sarsam and our entire management team, are well-equipped to make the most of SpartanNash’s considerable opportunities.”

Douglas Hacker

Hacker joined the SpartanNash board in November 2013 and has served as lead independent director since May 2018. He previously served as a director of Nash Finch Company from 2005 until the merger. Hacker currently is an independent business executive and formerly served as executive vice president, strategy for UAL Corp., the United Airlines holding company, from December 2002 to May 2006.

Previously, he served as president of UAL Loyalty Services from September 2001 to December 2002 and as executive vice president and CFO of United Airlines from July 1994 to September 2001.

Hacker serves as chair of the Columbia Funds Board, a mutual fund complex with over $300 billion of assets. He also serves as a director of Aircastle Ltd., a privately held commercial aircraft leasing company. He served as a director of Travelport Worldwide Limited from 2016-19 and served as a director of SeaCube Container Leasing Ltd. from 2010-14.

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