Binu Varghese has joined grocery distributor SpartanNash as vice president of applications and data, a newly created position.
In the role, Varghese will lead multiple areas focused on developing innovation strategies and driving results, as well as the delivery of priority projects and new data-driven solutions to help grow the business, Grand Rapids, Michigan-based SpartanNash said Tuesday.
Varghese’s appointment is effective immediately. He comes to SpartanNash after nearly three years at Carrier Corp. in Atlanta, most recently as global leader of data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).
“One of our core capabilities at SpartanNash is insights that drive solutions. Our IT applications and data play a critical role in our customer experience, enabling innovation and efficiency for the customers we serve,” Masiar Tayebi, executive vice president and chief strategy and information officer at SpartanNash, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to welcome Binu and are confident his expertise will help us improve the solutions we can provide to our customers.”
An experienced technology and product leader, Varghese brings broad data, analytics and related technology experience in retail, manufacturing and consumer goods, SpartanNash noted. Before joining Carrier, he served as head of enterprise data, analytics and AI at Rentpath; vice president of analytics at Genpact; and data engineering and analytics portfolio leader at Cognizant Technology Solutions. Last year, he was named a “World’s Leading Data Leader” by Chief Data Officer Magazine.
Via its core food wholesaling business, SpartanNash distributes to all 50 states, supplying 145 corporate-run supermarkets in nine Midwestern states and over 2,100 independent grocery retailers nationwide. The company, with about 17,500 employees, also distributes to 160 military commissaries and over 400 exchanges in the United States and internationally.
The retail business unit operates primarily under the banners of Family Fare, Martin’s Super Markets and D&W Fresh Market and includes dozens of pharmacies and fuel centers. SpartanNash also runs a private-label program through its OwnBrands portfolio—led by the Our Family label—and provides independent grocers with a suite of support services based on insights and solutions from across its business segments.
Varghese’s hiring marks SpartanNash’s sixth executive appointment so far this year. Most recently, the company added Arpen Shah as vice president of merchandising strategy and analytics, a newly created post, in mid-April after elevating David Sisk—its first chief customer officer—to executive vice president just days earlier. That followed the March promotions of Ileana McAlary, chief legal officer and corporate secretary, to executive vice president and Todd Riksen to vice president, corporate controller and principal accounting officer. In late January, SpartanNash hired 7-Eleven’s Ryan Speakes as vice president of fuel centers and convenience stores, a newly created position.