Acosta Inc., a full-service sales and marketing agency, announced its new board of directors following its successful recapitalization earlier this year.
New appointees include the following premier experts in the retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry:
Beginning as a partner in 1988, Joe Crafton held a variety of leadership positions with Crossmark Inc., a CPG sales and marketing agency, retiring as CEO in 2014. During his tenure at the helm of Crossmark, the company became the North American leader in sampling and event marketing and led the industry in retailer solutions and project work.
Prior to Crossmark, he held a variety of sales and management positions with The Procter & Gamble Company. He is currently a principal with Wingshooter Investments LLC.
Mark Gross served as CEO of Supervalu from 2016-2018 and Co-President, Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel of C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. from 1997-2006. Under Gross’ direction, Supervalu embarked on a major business restructuring, successfully repositioning the business as America’s largest publicly-traded grocery wholesaler.
With more than 20 years as a grocery executive and as a former attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and 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 Markets, a $2 billion grocery retailer.
Joe Hartsig currently is a Senior Vice President at Walgreens. Over the past several years, he has had responsibility for the Retail Products business as Chief Merchandising Officer. In this capacity, he oversaw buying across both stores and e-commerce, as well as managing owned brand and merchandising planning.
Hartsig has nearly 30 years of brand marketing experience in the technology, retail and CPG industries, having previously served in leadership roles at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Motorola, SC Johnson, Pillsbury and Conagra.
Grant LaMontagne has more than 40 years of CPG experience, with much of that time spent at The Clorox Company as he rose through the ranks to become Senior Vice President, Chief Customer Officer. He subsequently served as President, Consumer Sales/Customer Development for Kimberly-Clark North America and is currently a senior advisor with McKinsey & Company. From 2005 to 2011, he served as Chairman of the Sales Committee for the Grocery Manufacturers of America.
Other board members include Darian Pickett, Acosta’s CEO, and the following representatives from Acosta’s largest investors — funds associated with Elliott Management, Oaktree Capital Management L.P., Davidson Kempner Capital Management, and Nexus Capital Management — 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, L.P.
- 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,” said Pickett. “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 early this year and will provide additional industry expertise and other benefits to the company.
Acosta provides a range of outsourced sales, marketing and retail merchandising services throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. For 90 years, Acosta has led the industry in helping consumer packaged goods companies move products off shelves and into shoppers’ baskets.