Jack Murphy, a seasoned retail executive with strong experience in specialty food retailing, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Fairway Group Holdings Corp. Murphy was a co-founder of natural foods grocer Fresh Fields, Inc. before it was sold to Whole Foods, Inc., and most recently he served as Chief Executive Officer of Earth Fare, Inc., an organics and natural food chain with locations in the Southeast and Midwest.
“We believe that Jack brings very strong leadership to Fairway, and possesses highly relevant marketing and merchandising skills that are complementary to our organization,” said Charles Santoro, Chairman of Fairway Market. “Jack has developed and implemented business strategies for unique and highly differentiated brands, and brings great enthusiasm, perspective and leadership to the company.”
“I am very excited to lead this iconic food retailer known for its longstanding and unwavering commitment to providing a huge selection of high quality foods at great values to its millions of customers. Fairway Market is a true industry leader in innovative and exciting foods of all types. I’m honored to join this very special retail company and look forward to working with the entire Fairway Market team,” Murphy said.
In addition to co-founding and serving as Chief Operating Officer of Fresh Fields and as CEO of Earth Fare, Mr. Murphy was an Operating Partner at McCown Deleeuw & Co., the private equity firm that owned the 24 Hour Fitness chain; and a Vice President of Operations at Purity Supreme Supermarkets.
Bill Sanford, who was appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer in February while the company undertook a search for a new CEO, has decided to leave the company to pursue other interests. Sanford joined the company in 2008 as Chief Administrative Officer and then served as Chief Financial Officer and President before becoming Interim CEO. Santoro added, “Bill has made significant contributions as a member of Fairway’s management team for the last six years, and we greatly appreciate his leadership and commitment throughout his time at Fairway.”