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Online grocer FreshDirect has named Michael A. Brizel its EVP and general counsel. In his new role, Brizel will lead all facets of the company's legal department, including corporate governance, community and government affairs, food safety, consumer and data protection, and workplace safety and security.
"Mike has an impressive background developing and leading best-in-class legal divisions for top public retail and publishing companies," noted FreshDirect co-founder and CEO Jason Ackerman, to whom Brizel will report. "His experience with operationally and consumer-driven environments gives him the unique perspective to successfully advise FreshDirect in our rapid evolution and growth."
Brizel's most recent position was EVP and general counsel of Saks Inc., where he developed a first-tier legal department. He was also Saks' chief ethics and compliance officer, in which capacity he oversaw its asset protection department.
Previously, he rose through the ranks at The Reader's Digest Association Inc. over 17 years, spending nearly a decade as general counsel in charge of a global legal department, and later taking on management oversight of the organization's human resources function.
Before Reader's Digest, Brizel was at General Foods Corp. for six years in various legal roles. As labor and employment counsel, he handled a wide variety of matters for the then publicly held company, and additionally advised on acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures.
Noting that he was "coming on board as the company accelerates its business growth, expands its consumer services and builds upon its amazingly dedicated and professional workforce," Brizel said he anticipated "playing a part in the seismic shift of the food e-commerce industry to the mainstream of the fresh food grocery world, along with FreshDirect's strong leadership team."
Long Island City, N.Y.-based FreshDirect serves customers in the greater New York, New Jersey, Connecticut metro areas and the greater Philadelphia area, including Delaware.