(May 6, 3:24 p.m.) Performance Food Group will move forward with a new leader after its merger with Vistar Corp.

President and chief executive officer Steve Spinner announced he will leave Richmond, Va.-based PFG after the foodservice distributor completes its merger with Centennial, Colo.-based Vistar.

The company said in a news release that Spinner will be succeeded by George Holm, a 28-year veteran of the foodservice industry. Holm has been with Vistar for five years and previously had management roles with Alliant Foodservice Inc., U.S. Foodservice Inc. and Sysco Corp.

Spinner has been president and chief executive officer since 2006. He previously had served as president and chief operating officer and as president of the company’s broadline distribution division.

Spinner led PFG during the sale of Salinas, Calif.-based salad maker Fresh Express Inc. to Cincinnati-based Chiquita Brands International Inc.

“Steve Spinner was instrumental in making PFG into a leader in the foodservice industry,” John Stokely, vice chairman of the company’s board of directors, said in the release. “The value the PFG shareholders are receiving as a result of the merger are a direct result of his efforts.”

PFG stock was $34.06 during midday trading May 6 on the New York Stock Exchange. That was near a 52-week high of $35.88 and well above the 52-week low of $23.04.

PFG shareholders are scheduled to vote on the merger May 14 at the company’s headquarters in Richmond. If approved, the deal is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter.

The merger would combine the restaurant, hotel, school and healthcare business of PFG with the more specialized business of Vistar, which is controlled by The Blackstone Group and Wellspring Capital Management. Vistar Specialty Markets offers supplies for vending, coffee, theater and fund-raising businesses, while its Roma Foodservice focuses on Italian foodservice and products.

PFG reported $2.6 million in costs related to the merger during the first quarter and also had $2 million in costs related to the closing of its Magee, Miss., facility. The company reported that without those one-time costs its first quarter net earnings increased 30% to $9 million.

Actual net earnings were $4.3 million, or 12 cents per share. Net sales increased 9% to nearly $1.7 billion. In the broadline segment, net sales increased 6% to $972 million, while customized sales jumped 14% to $700 million. The company reported that inflation was 7% in the broadline business and 5% in the customized segment.

Spinner said the increase in the customized segment reflected the addition of O’Charley’s business late last year and the addition of business with Joe’s Crab Shack during the first quarter.

“Performance Food Group delivered solid results in the first quarter of 2008, despite slower industry growth and higher fuel and food costs,” Spinner said in the release.