Two of the key ingredients in successful growth are a strong strategy and an eye for innovation, and United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) knows it. To bolster is expansion efforts and ensure that the company stays on the cutting edge of these sectors, the distributor has promoted Matt Whitney to its new Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, effective immediately.
In this new role, Whitney will be responsible for leading the company’s Professional Services and e-commerce business units while also developing new business models, pursuing innovation opportunities, and implementing several ongoing strategic initiatives to complement UNFI’s base wholesale business. He joined UNFI in early 2020 as Senior Vice President of Sales Strategy and Business Transformation, leading the company’s Value Path initiative, a cross-functional effort to identify sales growth, product efficiencies, and cost containment opportunities.
Prior to joining UNFI, Whitney was the Corporate Vice President of Field Transformation at Sysco, where he also served as EVP of its Boston division, and Head of the Integration Management Office for Sysco’s proposed acquisition of US Foods. Earlier in his career, Whitney worked in strategy consulting and mergers and acquisitions. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University, and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Chris Testa, the President of UNFI, commented on how this appointment will bolster the company’s operations.
“UNFI is focused on innovation and finding new ways to support our customers beyond a traditional distribution model. Our Professional Services and e-commerce teams are two critical growth vehicles that help make our customers stronger, more differentiated, and under Matt’s leadership these teams will help them continue to grow and flourish,” said Testa. “His cross functional leadership, business acumen, and strong strategic thinking will help us deliver results and ensure we are best positioned for future growth.”
Cheers to Matt Whitney on his promotion!