Walmart veteran Scott Neal is joining Sprouts as its new chief fresh merchandising officer. ( Scott Neal )

Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market has named J. Scott Neal, who has been in fresh food leadership positions for Walmart for two decades, as its new chief fresh merchandising officer.

Neal’s tenure with Sprouts officially begins June 15, and he will report to CEO Jack Sinclair, according to a news release.

“I am excited to join Sprouts at this pivotal time in its growth trajectory,” Neal said in the release. “It is more important than ever that our customers have access to fresh, healthy food to feed their families, and I look forward to joining Jack and the Sprouts leadership team to advance the company’s long-term vision of building a brand that is good for you, good for your family and good for the planet.”

Neal served for the last eight years as senior vice president and general merchandise manager for the fresh food division of Walmart U.S., overseeing quality control and merchandising of fresh produce, meat and seafood, per the release. He previously oversaw merchandising for the meat and bakery divisions, and from 2000 to 2007 he was vice president of international merchandising for the company. Neal has also been a board member for Feeding America since 2016.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Scott to the Sprouts team,” Sinclair said in the release. “Scott joins us at the perfect time to leverage his deep experience in fresh merchandising and sourcing as we begin to implement our long-term growth strategy by creating an advantaged fresh supply chain to bring better-for-you options and innovative products to support our customers’ healthy lifestyles.”