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Former CEO of Fresh Direct shares his inspiring, entrepreneurial journey.

David McInerney

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Former Fresh Direct CEO David McInerney took the helm of the company at a time when the business was overcoming substantial logistical and customer service concerns. By focusing on a five-pillar strategy, David helped the business achieve record growth.

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About David

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With more than 30 years’ experience in consumer and retail, David McInerney led the nation’s online grocer, Fresh Direct, from the brink of failure to a successfully streamlined food delivery giant by delivering hundreds of thousands of meals per month. After more than 20 years of overseeing Fresh Direct’s core operations, including merchandising and buying, David was named Chief Executive Officer in 2018. With an innovative plan for refocusing the brand, David aligned the team with the business’ core vision of making great food simple to receive.

Why you should book Davide McInerney for your next event

  • Audiences relate to David’s drive and passion for overcoming challenges to deliver consumers quality food and ramp up customer service protocols.
  • His presentation offers an inspiring story of triumph in the face of insurmountable obstacles. By offering practical tools and principles for defining leadership and shaping a successful mentality, David unleashes an unforgettable keynote about obtaining success.
  • With timely knowledge about building a sustainable technological digital infrastructure, David enthralls audiences with practical steps for overcoming logistical and customer concerns.

Overcoming harsh competition, David led Fresh Direct by collaborating with food producers to develop an unrivaled supply chain with high quality food products. After leveraging an innovative distribution facility to deliver food to customers fast, the Fresh Direct team grew to more than 3000 team members under David’s leadership. Focusing on five pillars, including transparency, empowerment and simplicity, the team experienced high levels of revenue growth and customer satisfaction. With a background as Fresh Direct’s former Chief Food Adventurer, David traveled the globe to source the highest quality, best-tasting foods. He integrated his love for providing the best food products to consumers into his day-to-day life as CEO.

An expert in food sourcing, delivery, entrepreneurship, logistics, and digital transformation, David brings audiences valuable information about planning for success. Leveraging talented team members and cutting edge technology, David overcame crippling challenges to help
Fresh Direct thrive. As one of the members of Fresh Direct’s founding team, he is credited with revolutionizing the traditional supermarket model to elevate the way food delivery works globally.

By 2021, David led FreshDirect’s sale to Ahold Delhaize, which is the parent company of food giants, such as Food Lion, Stop & Shop, and Centerbridge Partners, one of the largest food retailers in the world.

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Keynote by David McInerney

The North Star of Business

Differentiation – At the core of FreshDirect’s business model has been a steadfast dedication to quality and freshness. Maintaining that focus for over 20 years spurred consistent growth including local market domination, in the face of harsh competition from already established retail leaders. David shares the story of how that mentality shaped the success of Fresh Direct. Hear how finding the distinct elements that separate your business from your competition, and deploying resources towards that specialty will become your north star.

Keynote by David McInerney

Trust & Transparency Starts from Within

Empowering a Team – As CEO, David’s focus was having every employee committed to the freshness and quality their customers would demand. Empowering thousands of FreshDirect employees to make decisions with quality in mind showed the trust the company had in the entire workforce. With transparent ratings on thousands of products online, customers could feel safe about their decisions. David shares how he created a culture around an idea, which through a shared goal, gave both employees and customers a bond with the business.

Keynote by David McInerney

Leading Through Turbulence

Upon his elevation to CEO, David McInerney took over a company fraught with angry customers complaining of broken eggs, missing items, and spoiled fruit. At the root of the problem was a brand new 400,000 square foot distribution center with an automated system that was creating confusion resulting in canceled orders, missing items, and delayed deliveries. David refocused the company on customer service, the freshest ingredients, and employee empowerment, and was able to overcome the many logistical challenges that the company faced. On the brink of becoming a failed start-up, David’s clear and concise vision led FreshDirect into a dominant food provider, and ultimately led to the recent acquisition. David shares his principles of leadership and outlines the key elements to navigating turbulence successfully.

Keynote by David McInerney

Farm to Fork

Changing the Way We Eat – As Co-Founder and CEO of FreshDirect, David McInerney’s mission for 20 years was making great fresh food easy to get. David brought the skills he learned as a French trained chef and married them with local and global farmers, ranchers, and fisherman, bringing higher quality fresh food to millions. With a rare view across the entire sustainable food ecosystem, and building a technological infrastructure enabling digital shopping and delivery services, David shares stories from his pioneering journey creating the largest online grocer in the US.

Watch David McInerney in action

Good Foods Taste Great: David McInerney at TEDxManhattan

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