Sprouts Farmers Market CEO Amin Maredia unexpectedly announced on Thursday that he is leaving the company on Dec. 30 to pursue other interests. 

“It has been an enormous privilege to have been part of the Sprouts team during this incredible period in the company’s history over the past eight years,” Maredia says. “As I transition, it is comforting knowing that Sprouts is well-positioned with a strong management team for robust growth and sustained success.”

In the interim, Jim Nielsen, Sprouts' president and COO, and Brad Lukow, the company's CFO, will serve as co-CEOs. The company said in a release that it is in the process of engaging a leading executive search firm to conduct "a comprehensive search for the new new chief executive officer." Nielsen has been with Sprouts since 2011, first as COO before adding the president title in 2015. Lukow joined the company as CFO in 2016.

Maredia has served as Sprouts' CEO since August 2015, previously working as the company's CFO.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to express our gratitude to Amin for his many years of service to Sprouts,” says Joseph Fortunato, chairman of the board. “Over the past three years, Amin has overseen our tremendous growth from coast to coast and put us on a firm footing for continued success. We wish Amin all the best in his future endeavors. While we search for a new CEO, the Board has deep confidence in Jim and Brad to continue executing the Company’s strategic initiatives, driving shareholder value and delivering on our mission of ‘Healthy Living for Less.’”