WILMINGTON, Mass., May 24, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- UniFirst Corporation (NYSE:UNF) today announced with great sadness the passing of Ronald D. Croatti, the company’s chairman, president, and chief executive officer (CEO), as a result of complications associated with pneumonia. UniFirst’s Board of Directors will promptly begin the process to select a new CEO and will consider the company’s interim management arrangements.
Ron Croatti joined the company in 1965 and gained valuable, first-hand experience working in virtually all areas of the company, excelling in service, sales, operations, and management, before being named a senior executive in 1986. He became the company’s chief executive officer in 1991 and chairman of the Board in 2002.
Cynthia Croatti, executive vice president, said, “The loss of my dear brother and our company leader is profound. His life was dedicated to the success of UniFirst, as well as to each and every member of our extended UniFirst family 13,000 people strong. His vision, leadership, and love for family will be missed immensely, but will live on for generations to come.”
The UniFirst Board of Directors and employee Team Partners extend their deepest sympathies to Mr. Croatti’s family during this time of mourning.
About UniFirst Corporation
Headquartered in Wilmington, Mass., UniFirst Corporation is a North American leader in the supply and servicing of uniform and workwear programs, as well as the delivery of facility service programs. Together with its subsidiaries, the company also provides first aid and safety products, and manages specialized garment programs for the cleanroom and nuclear industries. UniFirst manufactures its own branded workwear, protective clothing, and floorcare products, and with 240 service locations, 300,000 customer locations, and 13,000 employee Team Partners, the company outfits nearly 2 million workers each business day. UniFirst is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol UNF and is a component of the Standard & Poor's 600 Small Cap Index. For more information, contact UniFirst at 800.455.7654 or visit www.unifirst.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This public announcement contains forward looking statements that reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events and financial performance. Forward looking statements contained in this public announcement are subject to the safe harbor created by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and may be identified by words such as “estimates,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” “believes,” “seeks,” “could,” “should,” “may,” “will,” or the negative versions thereof, and similar expressions and by the context in which they are used. Such forward looking statements are based upon our current expectations and speak only as of the date made. Such statements are highly dependent upon a variety of risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in such forward looking statements. The successful transition of the Chief Executive Officer’s management responsibilities, our ability to maintain and grow the Company’s customer base and enhance its operating margins, our ability to compete successfully without any significant degradation in our margin rates, uncertainties caused by the continuing adverse worldwide economic conditions and their impact on our customers’ businesses and workforce levels, uncertainties regarding any existing or newly-discovered expenses and liabilities related to environmental compliance and remediation, any adverse outcome of pending or future contingencies or claims, uncertainties regarding our ability to consummate and successfully integrate acquired businesses, our ability to preserve positive labor relationships and avoid becoming the target of corporate labor unionization campaigns that could disrupt our business, the continuing increase in domestic healthcare costs, including the ultimate impact of the Affordable Care Act, our retention of customers and renewal of customer contracts, uncertainties regarding the price levels of natural gas, electricity, fuel and labor, the negative effect on our business from sharply depressed oil prices, fluctuation on our revenue and net income from our specialty garments segment, the effect of currency fluctuations on our results of operations and financial condition, rampant criminal activity and instability in Mexico where our principal garment manufacturing plants are located, the impact on our goodwill and intangibles that might result from adverse financial and economic changes, our ability to properly and efficiently design, construct, implement and operate our new customer relationship management, computer system, interruptions or failures of our information technology systems, including as a result of cyber-attacks, failure to comply with other state and federal regulations that might result in penalties or costs, seasonal and quarterly fluctuations in business levels, any loss of key management or other personnel, our dependence on third parties to supply us with raw materials, increased costs as a result of any future changes in federal or state laws, rules and regulations or governmental interpretation of such laws, rules and regulations, demand and prices for our products and services, economic and other developments associated with the war on terrorism and its impact on the economy, general economic conditions and other factors described under “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended August 27, 2016 and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to update any forward looking statements to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date on which such statements are made.
Steven S. Sintros, Senior Vice President & CFO