September 16/Dayville, Conn./PRNewswire-FirstCall -- United Natural Foods Inc. appointed distribution industry veteran Steven L. Spinner as its new president and chief executive officer. Current president and chief executive officer Michael S. Funk will continue his 32-year career with the company as chair of the board and will remain actively involved in strategic growth initiatives and key customer and supplier relations.

Prior to his appointment as the company's president and chief executive pfficer, Spinner enjoyed a successful career of more than 20 years at Performance Food Group Company ("PFG"), with net sales in excess of $6.3 billion in its 2007 fiscal year. During this tenure, Spinner progressed through increasingly responsible management positions and most recently served as PFG's president and chief executive officer until May 2008, when PFG was acquired by a private equity consortium.

The company also announced that current chair of the board, Thomas B. Simone has been appointed as vice chair of the board and will continue to serve as the company's lead independent director.

Michael Funk commented, "For more then three decades, I've helped build an organization that has realized incredible growth and established a leadership position in our industry. I am extremely confident that Steven's extensive experience will enable UNFI to further enhance and expand our market leadership position, and I look forward to working with him and our strong management team to achieve our long-term growth plans."

Commenting on the transition, Thomas Simone, added, "The board has been integrally involved in the succession planning process and believes Steven's experience makes him the right person to lead the company through its next phase of growth. We continue to appreciate Michael's many contributions to the company and look forward to his continuing active involvement as chair of the board."

Steven Spinner commented, "I am excited about joining UNFI! We have a passionate group of associates dedicated to a strong culture of growth, integrity and change. I look forward to working closely with Michael Funk, all UNFI associates, customers and suppliers as we continue to build our company and strengthen our leadership position in the market. It's a terrific time to be part of this great organization in an ever changing and growing industry."  

From the September 29, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash