Joseph Anto to take over from Jason Jenne
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Joseph Anto has joined Fred’s Inc. as executive vice president and chief financial officer, taking over from Jason Jenne, who is leaving the company.
Anto comes to Fred’s from newspaper company MediaNews Group Inc. (DigitalFirst Media), where he was senior vice president of strategy and M&A. Jenne, who only served as Fred’s CFO for about six months, is slated to join sporting goods manufacturer True Temper as CFO.
Plans call for Jenne to remain at Fred’s in an advisory capacity until Feb. 26 to help Anto with the transition.
“I am thrilled to join Fred’s at this important time in the company’s transformation,” Anto said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Mike and the rest of the senior leadership team as we develop and execute on the strategic priorities that will deliver long-term sustainable growth, cash flow and value creation.”
For the past seven months, Anto has been working with Fred’s in a consulting capacity, the company said. Fred’s noted that, at MediaNews Group, he played a key role in initiatives focused on driving digital sales and reducing expenses across the organization, as well as in merger-and-acquisition and investing activities.
“We are pleased to welcome Joe to the Fred’s team full-time,” stated Michael Bloom, chief executive officer of Fred’s. “Joe’s experience and expertise is invaluable as we continue to implement our strategic initiatives to drive increased traffic and comp sales, reduce SG&A, generate free cash flow and optimize our balance sheet. Joe is a proven financial and business development executive and brings a diverse set of skills and experience that will help position Fred’s for long-term success.”
Jenne has served as Fred’s CFO since last July, when he was named to succeed Rick Hans, who stepped down from the role to pursue other opportunities. Jenne had come to Fred’s in September 2016 as senior vice president of finance.
“On behalf of the board of directors and the entire company, I thank Jason for his contributions to Fred’s as well as his continued support during this transition period,” Bloom added.
Overall, Fred’s retail base encompasses about 600 discount general merchandise stores, more than half of which house pharmacies, and three specialty pharmacy-only locations.