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Acosta Assembles New Board Following Recapitalization

New directors include Grant LaMontagne, Mark Gross, Darian Pickett, Joe Hartsig and Joe Crafton
Acosta's new board members include (from left) Grant LaMontagne, Mark Gross, Darian Pickett, Joe Hartsig and Joe Crafton.
Acosta's new board members include (from left) Grant LaMontagne, Mark Gross, Darian Pickett, Joe Hartsig and Joe Crafton. Photograph courtesy of Acosta

After completing its reorganization and recapitalization and emerging from Chapter 11 less than a month after filing earlier this month, full-service sales and marketing agency Acosta Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., has reconstituted  its board of directors with a slate of veteran retail and CPG executives.

New appointees include:

Joe Crafton: Beginning as a partner in 1988, Crafton held a variety of leadership positions with Crossmark Inc., a CPG sales and marketing agency, retiring as CEO in 2014. Prior to Crossmark, Crafton held a variety of sales and management positions with Procter & Gamble. He is currently a principal with Wingshooter Investments LLC.

Mark Gross: Gross was CEO of Supervalu from 2016-2018 and co-president, chief financial officer and general counsel of C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. from 1997-2006. With more than 20 years as a grocery executive and as a former attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Gross now leads Surry Investment Advisors, advising grocery retailers and investors regarding operations, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. He is also the lead director and audit committee chair of Tops Friendly Markets, a $2 billion grocery retailer based in Williamsville, N.Y.

Joe Hartsig: Currently an SVP at Walgreens, Hartsig over the past several years has had responsibility for the retail products business as chief merchandising officer. He has nearly 30 years of brand marketing experience in the technology, retail and CPG industries, having previously held leadership roles at Walmart, Sam's Club, Motorola, SC Johnson, Pillsbury and Conagra.

Grant LaMontagne: With more than 40 years of CPG experience, with much of that time spent at The Clorox Co. as he rose through the ranks to become SVP and chief customer officer, LaMontagne was president of consumer sales/customer development for Kimberly-Clark North America and is currently a senior adviser with McKinsey & Co.

Other board members include Darian Pickett, Acosta's CEO, and the following representatives from Acosta's largest investors, which collectively manage nearly $200 billion in assets:

  • Dave Miller, equity partner and senior portfolio manager, Elliott Management
  • Austin Camporin, portfolio manager, Elliott Management
  • Jeremy Grant, associate portfolio manager, Elliott Management
  • Morgan Blackwell, managing member, Davidson Kempner Capital Management
  • Kaj Vazales, managing director, Oaktree Capital Management LP
  • Michael Cohen, partner, Nexus Capital Management

“We’re entering a new decade feeling energized and more confident than ever with the addition of our new board members,” Pickett said in a statement. "The depth of experience among this impressive group of leaders will provide Acosta with an unparalleled competitive edge as we set our sights on strategic growth and innovation for the benefit of our clients, customers and people.”

The new board of directors assumed responsibilities Jan. 1, 2020, and will be supplemented by an advisory board, which will be appointed in the near future.

After completing its reorganization and recapitalization and emerging from Chapter 11, Acosta said it eliminated all of its approximately $3 billion of long-term debt, and its new investors have funded $325 million in new equity capital.

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