MEMPHIS — Fred’s Inc. announced in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Joseph Anto, who had been running the company on an interim basis, is now its permanent chief executive officer.
Anto was hired by Fred’s a year ago as executive vice president and chief financial officer after spending seven months at the company in a consulting capacity. He was named interim CEO in April, following the resignation of Mike Bloom, a former executive at CVS and Family Dollar Stores.
Anto came to Fred’s from Digital First Media Inc., the company that runs newspapers owned by Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that is Fred’s largest shareholder. Anto has more than 15 years of finance, mergers and acquisitions, and business development experience.
Anto listed his priorities for Fred’s as strategic transactions, optimizing costs and capital allocation, talent acquisition, revenue and margin initiatives and assortment optimization.
The January 30 SEC filing included announcements of other executive changes at Fred’s:
• Ritwik Chatterjee becomes CFO. He had been serving as senior vice president of corporate development since September. Chatterjee joined Fred’s last June as vice president of finance. He previously held jobs at Rachel Zoe Inc., Microdynamics Group, OSG Billing Services, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Structured Portfolio Management, Harbinger Capital Partners, Merrill Lynch, Piper Jaffray and CIBC World Markets.
• Nathaniel Klein becomes chief operating officer. He joined Fred’s in April as senior vice president of finance. He is a founder of North American Lithium, and previously served as vice president at Hale Capital Management.
• Michael Ladd becomes chief stores officer. Ladd joined Fred’s as executive vice president of store operations in January 2018. He previously worked at Barnes & Noble and Sears Holdings.