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Sprouts Farmers Market on the hunt for new CEO

Fast-growing Sprouts Farmers Market is losing its chief executive.

The Phoenix-based natural and organic grocer said that Amin Maredia is stepping down as CEO on Dec. 30 “to pursue other interests.” Jim Nielsen, president and COO of Sprouts and Brad Lukow, CFO, will serve as co-interim CEOs until a permanent successor is named. The company is currently working with a executive search firm to find Maredia's replacement.

Nielsen joined Sprouts in 2011 as COO and has served as president and chief operating officer since A 2015. Prior to that, he was president of Henry’s Farmers Markets. Lukow has served as Sprouts’ CFO since 2016, having previously served as executive VP and CFO of Shoppers Drug Mart.

The departing Maredia has served as CEO of Sprouts since August 2015. He joined the company in 2011 as CFO. Prior to that, Maredia held executive posts at Burger King Corp., including serving as VP of finance for North and Latin America from March 2009 to February 2011 and as VP of strategic planning and treasurer from July 2005 to March 2009.

“It has been an enormous privilege to have been part of the Sprouts team during this incredible period in the company’s history over the past eight years,” Maredia said in a statement. “As I transition, it is comforting knowing that Sprouts is well-positioned with a strong management team for robust growth and sustained success.”

Sprouts has been steadily expanding its portfolio. The grocer plans to open 30 stores in 2019, about the same as this year. The retailer currently more than 300 stores in 19 states.
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