Heath Food Chain Taps New Chief Exec
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) _ Perry Odak, former chief executive of ice cream maker Ben and Jerry’s, will replace Wild Oats Markets Inc. co-founder Mike Gilliland as chief executive of the natural foods retailer.
Gilliland, 42, who led the company’s transformation from a ``hippie, vegetarian store″ in Boulder to a publicly held concern with sales of more than $800 million last year, will step down March 19. He will remain on the board.
Odak, 55, served as CEO of premium ice-cream maker Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Inc. until late January. He previously held senior executive positions at fragrance and cosmetics company Jovan, electronic game-maker Atari and Color Tile.
The appointment was announced Wednesday.
Wild Oats’ stock fell from a high of $23.50 in April to a low of $3.87 in December. In morning trading Thursday on the Nadaq Stock Market, Wild Oats shares were down 16 cents at $7.94.
Gilliland said that with Odak on board, ``We’ll see a more professionally managed company.″
Wild Oats has 107 stores in 22 states and Canada,
On the Net:
Wild Oats site: http://www.wildoats.com