PAWTUCKET, R.I. — On Feb. 21, Pet Food Experts, a distributor of pet food and supplies, announced it appointed William May to chief operating officer upon the retirement of James Bettencourt, effective immediately. Bettencourt has spent more than 40 years with the distributor.

During his time at Pet Food Experts, Bettencourt directed initiatives to improve and streamline the company’s distribution centers. He also spearheaded the Quality Through People program and integrated the company’s Lydia Voice Activated Picking Solution to increase order accuracy.

“There’s simply no way to put into words the tremendous impact Jim has made on Pet Food Experts and my family over the years,” said Michael Baker, president and chief executive officer. “Jim has brought infectious passion, integrity, and inspiration to generations of PFXers, from warehouse associates to delivery drivers across the country, many of whom are now in key leadership roles across our organization. Pet Food Experts would not be the company we are today without his sweeping knowledge of the supply chain ecosystem and heart for the business.”

According to Pet Food Experts, Bettencourt’s leadership has been imperative to the company’s rapid growth during the past 20 years, laying the groundwork for several acquisitions, leading training and onboarding distribution staff.

“I’ve been in the pet industry all my life and decades of it with Pet Food Experts and the Baker family,” Bettencourt said. “As I retire, it’s easy for me to recall, appreciate, and feel so fortunate to have worked with so many talented, wonderful people. As exciting as it is to start the next chapter in my life, it is equally exhilarating to think of all the opportunities in store for Pet Food Experts and the industry in general.”

Succeeding Bettencourt, May joined the company in 2021 as vice president of supply chain operations. Prior to his role at Pet Food Experts, May held several different roles within the supply chain sector of businesses.

“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to succeed Jim and lead Pet Food Experts on the next phase of our important journey to becoming a dominant national player in pet specialty distribution,” May said. “Never before has our mission been more clear. Together with the Pet Food Experts’ leadership team and the entire PFX family, I will work to build on the strong foundation Jim has put in place. I am highly confident about our company’s future and look forward to further accelerating the value we bring to our customers and vendors.”

Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.