Co-Founder and Former CEO, FreshDirect
David McInerney brings 3 decades of experience unlocking value creation and profitable growth for consumer and retail businesses as a CEO, Founder and Board director in the food retailing and restaurant industries. Most recently, David was the co-founder, CEO and a board member of FreshDirect, the nation's leading online grocer which he sold to Ahold Delhaize and Centerbridge Partners in 2021. He currently serves on the board of directors for the New York Common Pantry, whose mission is to reduce hunger and promote dignity, and the board of advisors of Lekka Burger, a plant based burger restaurant concept. David is a recognized expert, advisor and speaker on a broad range of topics including the digital transformation of the food industry, food sourcing, driving company culture, and entrepreneurship.
In 2000, drawn to the mission to revolutionize the brick-and-mortar supermarket model, David joined the founding team at FreshDirect, which delivered its first order in June 2001 and today employs 3,000+ team members across 7 states and delivers hundreds of thousands of orders a month. Over the past 20 years, David led many of the core business functions including operations, buying and merchandising, culminating in being named CEO in 2018. As CEO, David implemented an aggressive plan to streamline the business, focusing on the core mission of making great food easy to get. Through a 5 pillar strategy that emphasized simplicity, transparency, and empowerment, coupled with a sophisticated incentive program, the team achieved record levels of revenue growth, net promoter scores, and consumer retention.
In 2021, David led the sale of FreshDirect to Ahold Delhaize, parent company of grocers such as Stop & Shop and Food Lion, and one of the world’s largest food retailers, and Centerbridge Partners, a leading private equity firm. He remains an advisor to the company through the end of the year.
Beginning in 2008 and for more than a decade, David served as Fresh Direct’s “Chief Food Adventurer”, traveling the world to source the best-tasting, freshest, and highest-quality foods. He and his team devoted all of their time learning about, investigating, exploring, and, of course, tasting fresh food. Through his food sourcing travels David developed deep relationships with food producers: the best of the best farmers, fishermen, ranchers and CPG leaders. This solidified FreshDirects position as the best online grocery retailer in the world, with an unrivaled fresh supply chain that pulled the highest quality product from the best growers, fishermen, and ranchers in the world. By starting with the highest quality products, FreshDirect was then able to leverage state of the art manufacturing and distribution facilities to offer customers fresher food, direct from the farm.
David started his career as a chef alongside top restaurateurs, including the late Bernard Loiseau in Burgundy, and David Bouley in New York City. He attended the Culinary Institute of America.
He lives with his wife and their two sons in Harlem, New York., and Bellport, Long Island. He is an avid fisherman, skier and cook.