Futterman, a pharmacist, began his career with Whelan Drug Stores, working his way up to become president. In 1973 he joined the Pathmark division of Supermarkets General Holdings Corp. As vice president of general merchandising at SGHC, he played a key role in developing the original Pathmark food/drug combination store prototype and introducing the format to markets in the Northeast.
His accomplishments led to his appointment as president and chief executive officer of Pathmark’s drug merchandising division in 1984. Three years later he was named vice chairman of SGHC. He became chairman and CEO of Pathmark in 1989.
In April 1994 Futterman became the first executive from a retailer that primarily operated supermarkets to be sworn in as NACDS chairman. At the time, Pathmark operated about 30 stand-alone drug stores.
Futterman retired from his post as the head of Pathmark in 1996. (Ten years later, Pathmark would be acquired by A&P for $1.3 billion.)
Futterman cited the desire to devote more time to his family and nonprofit community affairs as the reason he left Pathmark. But he did not completely leave the business world. He served as chairman and CEO of Party City Stores for half a year in 1999, and he had been a director on the board of Hain Celestial Group since December 1996.