Mrs. Green’s Ousts Robin Michel As CEO After 18 Months At The Helm

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After being named CEO of Natural Markets Food Group (NMFG) in November 2012, Robin Michel has been removed from the top post at the retail and foodservice organization whose largest unit is Mrs. Green’s Natural Market. Michel will remain with NMFG as a senior advisor. Sources have told us that a new chief executive will be named in the very near term.

NMFG is based in Irvington, NY and operates 20 Mrs. Green’s organic food stores, six other Canadian natural food stores (Planet Organic) and a large restaurant controlled by Canadian private equity firm The Catalyst Capital Group.

“As Natural Market Food Group enters a new chapter of its growth strategy and market positioning, I am excited to transition from CEO to senior advisor and have the ability to look at other businesses,” said Michel. “The board and I agree that now is the right time to add to our leadership team – this enables NMFG to continue its laser-focused approach on customers who value an organic and healthy lifestyle.”

During her relatively brief tenure as CEO, Michel directed an aggressive company initiative that included the opening of seven new Mrs. Green’s stores in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia, Chicago and Canada. Michel also announced the closing of six Fresh & Green’s stores in the Maryland-Washington, DC market.

Those former Super Fresh/A&P units had remained unprofitable since they were purchased by NMFG in June 2011. Since those stores were shuttered in December, none of the units has been moved and the company has reportedly only received limited interest from prospective buyers.

When Michel joined NMFG in late 2012, Gabriel de Alba, managing partner of Catalyst Capital, said, “We were looking for someone with extensive food retail experience who had a comprehensive depth of knowledge as well as an instinct for growth. Robin fit our criteria. She has led teams facing competitive aggressors and won. Robin clearly understands the need to localize our product offerings and develop unique, exclusive, great tasting products for our customers. We recognized she would embrace the communities in which we operate in order to appeal to the needs of our customer base. With expertise in merchandising and procurement in natural, organic, conventional and prepared foods, as well as store operations and marketing, she is keenly aware that customers have a right to choose where they shop and she is focused on finding out what’s most important to our customers, insuring they spend their money with us. We are delighted that she has joined our organization and have tasked Robin with aggressive growth in the U.S. and Canada.”