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Portland, Oregon-based New Seasons Market announced yesterday a change in its company leadership structure, with its co-presidents now taking on different roles.

Forrest Hoffmaster, who joined New Seasons in 2016 as CFO before taking on the co-presidency, now becomes CEO. Kristi McFarland, the company’s Chief People Officer since 2014, will become Chief Strategy Officer.

Hoffmaster and McFarland became co-presidents about a year ago when CEO/president Wendy Collie stepped down from her role there. In the press release announcing the new leadership structure, New Seasons said that it “is the natural next step in the company’s growth, building off last year’s investments in core stores, staff benefits and relationships with local producers and community partners.”

“We’ve had a successful year coming together around our mission,” said newly appointed CEO Forrest Hoffmaster in a press release. “We have a passionate and dedicated staff and an incredible purpose-driven leadership team committed to the long-term health of our organization, staying true to our founder-inspired values, and being a leader in the industry. Our team is structured to bring these priorities to life.”
KC's View:
The question is whether this will put to rest persistent speculation that New Seasons is on the market, with investor group Endeavour looking to sell it but not happy with the price it would be likely to get. We’ll see.

One of the challenges that a company like New Seasons can have in this scenario is that to make itself more attractive to buyers, the impulse is to focus on short-term efficiencies, but its entire value proposition to stakeholders is centered on long-term effectiveness. I’m a big fan of New Seasons, and often patronize its stores during my summer adjunctivities in Portland, and I hope that kits leadership is able to provide it with a happy ending.