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SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - Fresh Brands Inc. today announced that the company and its chief executive officer, Elwood F. Winn, have agreed to mutually end their relationship to allow Winn to pursue other opportunities. Winn has served as Fresh Brands' c.e.o. since December 2000 and as acting chief financial officer since September 2003. He has been with the company since September 1999.
Fresh Brands said it has initiated a national search for a new c.e.o. Until a new c.e.o. is named, Walter G. Winding, III, Fresh Brands' independent chairman of the board, and Michael R. Houser, the company's vice chairman of the board, executive v.p. and chief marketing officer, will assume day-to-day duties and responsibilities.
Winding has served as Fresh Brands' independent chairman of the board since December 2000 and has been an independent director since 1999. Houser has been with the company for more than 24 years.
"We wish Elwood nothing but the best in his future endeavors," Winding said. "Mike and I, together with our Board of Directors, are fully committed to improving our earnings, balance sheet and franchisee relationships. We also plan to accelerate our ongoing active search for a chief financial officer, while aggressively looking for a new c.e.o."
Fresh Brands also announced that the company and its v.p. of retail operations, John C. Rocker, have agreed to end their relationship. Rocker joined Fresh Brands in February 2003.
Sheboygan, Wis.-based Fresh Brands Inc. is a supermarket retailer and grocery wholesaler through corporate-owned retail, franchised and independent supermarkets. The corporate-owned and franchised retail supermarkets currently operate under the Piggly Wiggly and Dick's Supermarkets brands. Fresh Brands currently has 73 franchised supermarkets and 29 corporate-owned stores located throughout Wisconsin and northern Illinois.