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AUSTIN, Texas - Whole Foods Market named A.C. Gallo and Walter Robb co-presidents of Whole Foods Market and also bolstered its executive management team by adding the newly created position of e.v.p., retail support, to which Lee Valkenaar was named.
"Whole Foods Market has a healthy store development pipeline of 46 stores, and a goal of reaching $10 billion in sales by the year 2010. With these changes to our executive team and operating structure, we have best positioned ourselves to achieve our growth goals," said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market c.e.o., chairman, and co-founder. "I have transferred the title of president to Walter Robb and A.C. Gallo, who have both done an excellent job over the past three and a half years and are well deserving of their promotions."
Given Whole Foods' expected acceleration in growth, Mackey said, "It is important to have a top executive fully focused on certain areas that support our retail efforts, including purchasing, marketing, and team member services. Lee Valkenaar has over eight years of solid performance as a regional president, and we look forward to continued valuable contributions from him in this new role."
In related news, the company also expanded its number of operating regions from eight to 10 by separating the Southwest region into the Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions, and the Northern Pacific region into the Northern California and Pacific Northwest regions.
"The former Southwest and Northern Pacific regions were widespread geographically over several states, making them increasingly difficult to operate effectively," said Mackey, noting that by splitting them into two additional regions, “we will be better able to regionally support our existing store base as well as provide for our anticipated growth in those regional areas in the future."
The operations in Colorado, New Mexico, and Kansas are now part of the new Rocky Mountain region, and the operations in Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver, B.C. are now part of the new Pacific Northwest region.
These new regions will be led by Will Paradise, formerly regional president of the Southwest region, and Ron Megahan, formerly regional president of the Northern Pacific region. The Northern California region will now be led by Anthony Gilmore, formerly regional president of the Midwest region.