Tony Sarsam is joining the food distributor and grocery store operator.
Sarsam begins his new job on September 21, when he’ll also take a seat on the board at SpartanNash, which distributes grocery products to independent and chain retailers, its corporate-owned retail stores and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges.
Sarsam brings a unique blend of expertise in the food industry, gained through stints with businesses in the consumer products and supply chain sectors.
Most recently, Sarsam worked as CEO at Borden Dairy Co., leading the business through a reorganization that helped reposition it for renewed growth. Sarsam left Borden in July.
Previously, he served as CEO of Ready Pac Foods Inc., where his focus on innovation and service transformed the business into a growth engine that delivered a 60% increase in revenue in less than five years, SpartanNash said in a statement.
Sarsam also spent more than two decades in leadership roles at PepsiCo before joining Nestlé, where he served for three years as president of its direct store delivery company, a $4.5 billion pizza and ice cream business.
He earned a master’s degree in management from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Arizona State University.
Sarsam succeeds Dennis Eidson, who has been serving as interim president and CEO at SpartanNash. Eidson will continue to serve as board chairman and has agreed to help ensure a smooth management transition by staying on as executive chairman for 30 days after Sarsam’s arrival.
Said Eidson, “SpartanNash’s board of directors has conducted an extensive search over the past year, and we are extremely confident we have recruited an exceptional leader to continue the legacy of our company as a trusted provider of grocery products. Not only does Tony possess the background and expertise to lead SpartanNash in the coming years, his core values and history of visionary thinking and strategic execution are in direct alignment to achieve our vision to be a best-in-class business that feels local, where relationships matter.”
Sarsam said he “honored and humbled” to be hired to lead SpartanNash. “I think of SpartanNash as over 100 years young, with a rich history and a promising future. I am looking forward to working with our 19,000 dedicated associates to further strengthen our company and extend our success well into the future.”
SpartanNash serves customer locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Bahrain, Djibouti and Egypt. In addition to its grocery distribution business, it operates 155 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare, Martin’s Super Markets, D&W Fresh Market, VG’s Grocery and Dan’s Supermarket.