Whole Foods makes top executive promotions

by Meat&Poultry staff
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AUSTIN, TEXAS — Whole Foods Market Inc. has promoted Walter Robb and A.C. Gallo. Both men have shared the roles of president and chief operating officer since October 2004.

Effective immediately, Mr. Robb will become co-chief executive officer and will join the company's Board of Directors. Mr. Gallo will serve as the company's president and chief operating officer. John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods Market, will continue as co-chief executive officer.

Since 2001, the company's executive team, consisting of Mr. Mackey, Mr. Robb, Mr. Gallo, Glenda Chamberlain, executive vice-president and chief financial officer, and Jim Sud, executive vice-president of growth and business development, has worked closely together and will continue their collaborative style of leadership and decision-making, according to the company.

Mr. Robb and Mr. Gallo will continue to share oversight of the company's 12 operating regions as well as purchasing, distribution, marketing and quality standards.

"Walter and A.C. are brilliant retailers, and their contributions to Whole Foods Market's success have been immeasurable,” Mr. Mackey said. “Due, in large part, to their operational leadership, we successfully managed through 2009, the most difficult year in our company's 30-year history. In proposing these changes to our Board of Directors, my goal was to establish the structure necessary to solidify our executive leadership team for what is hopefully many years to come.

Mr. Robb joined Whole Foods Market in December 1991. Previously, he spent 14 years in the natural foods business as a retailer and consultant. Mr. Robb joined the executive team as executive vice-president of operations in 2001. He was named co-chief operating officer in 2003 and co-president in 2004. As co-president and co-chief operating officer, Mr. Robb oversaw six of the company's 12 regions as well as purchasing, marketing, distribution and quality standards.

For 15 years, Mr. Gallo worked at Bread & Circus, which subsequently was acquired by Whole Foods in 1992. He was promoted to vice-president of the Northeast Region in 1994 and then to president in 1996.

He joined the executive leadership team as executive vice-president of operations in 2001. He was named co-chief operating officer in 2003 and co-president in 2004. As co-president and co-chief operating officer, Mr. Gallo oversaw six of the company's 12 regions as well as purchasing, marketing, distribution and quality standards.

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