UNFI Names New Supply Chain Chief

Mike Troy
Editorial Director
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Jim Gehr, chief supply chain officer, United Natural Foods.

Veteran supply chain executive Jim Gehr has joined United Natural Foods in a critical role overseeing the $21.4 billion food wholesaler’s network of 59 distribution centers and transportation fleet.

Gehr joins UNFI as chief supply chain officer from DHL Supply Chain where he spent 29 years, including the last six as President of DHL’s Retail North America unit. In that role, Gehr oversaw operations for a network of 72 facilities that served more than 30 major North American retailers.

The supply chain challenges Gehr will manage at UNFI will be different given the nature of customers served and products offered. UNFI operates a network of 59 facilities that serve roughly 30,000 unique customer locations with an assortment 250,000 products across six major categories. Gehr also assumes his new role as the COVID-19 crisis has further elevated the critical role of an efficient and agile supply chain to the world of food retailing. Gehr’s immediate priorities will be to focus on UNFI's warehouse logistics, advancing UNFI's automation investments, distribution center expansions and network optimization.

"Jim is a highly-regarded supply chain executive who brings operational excellence experience to UNFI along with a proven track record of building and motivating teams," Eric Dorne, UNFI’s COO. "He has a history of creating and growing business opportunities, establishing sustainable processes, and developing a strong culture of continuous improvement that drives value throughout the supply chain and, ultimately, to customers. His unique experiences - from integrating emerging technologies to effectively utilizing data analytics - will enhance UNFI's long-term operating model and help accelerate our innovation.”

Gehr fills a role previously held by Paul Green, who UNFI announced earlier this year would be transitioning to the role of President, UNFI Fresh, to oversee the company’s meat and produce business, reporting directly to UNFI chairman and CEO Steven Spinner.