LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Affiliated Foods Southwest, the cooperative wholesaler based here, has reshuffled its management after a brief credit crisis, according to local reports.
The company has promoted Randy Arceneaux to president, following the departure last month of John R. Mills, who had been president and chief executive officer. A search for a new CEO is under way, the reports stated.
The company could not be reached for comment last week.
Arceneaux, who joined AFS about six years ago from the Louisiana division of the former Fleming Cos., most recently was vice president and chief operating officer at AFS. He retains the COO role.
His promotion came after the company temporarily lost its bank credit line, although that issue was quickly resolved, one source told SN. Affiliated has also retained Chicago-based Keystone Consulting, according to a report in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
A spokesman for Keystone Consulting also could not be reached for comment last week.
Shortly before the departure of Mills as CEO, the company had named David Hendrix, operator of the Red Star convenience store chain and the Family Market grocery stores, to be the cooperative's chairman. Unlike many grocery cooperatives, AFS did not have an independent member serving as chairman until Hendrix's appointment. Mills had held the chairman's title, as had the previous CEO, Jerry Davis, who died in 2004.
Mills, a 24-year veteran of Affiliated, joined the company in 1985 as a controller.
“Affiliated, like other companies, is faced with unusual difficulties, most of which are directly tied to the fragile economy,” Hendrix was quoted as saying in a prepared statement. “We are currently reorganizing management in order to improve operational efficiencies. We feel very positive about the future of the company.”
Some local reports said the company had overextended credit to the independent retailers it serves.
Affiliated generates about $700 million in sales from retail members in five states.