(March 11) RICHMOND, Va. — The former head of Performance Food Group Co. has returned to lead the foodservice purveyor.

Robert Sledd, who served as Performance’s chief executive officer from 1987-2001, has been elected the firm’s CEO and chairman of the board.

He succeeds C. Michael Gray, who resigned as CEO and from Performance’s board of directors. The company announced the change March 5.

Gray, in a statement, said Performance has been an integral part of his life for nearly 30 years and that he would miss working with the company’s associates and management team. He said he’s confident that the company will continue to succeed under Sledd’s leadership.

“Michael Gray has been instrumental in the growth of our company,” said Cheryl Moore, a company spokeswoman.

“Under his leadership, we continued our outstanding record of growth and we are grateful for his contributions and service to Performance Food Group.”

Moore said the company respects Gray’s decision and appreciates his willingness to work with Performance through the transition.

Sledd was not available for additional comment. Moore declined to comment further.

Performance, the nation’s fourth-largest foodservice broadliner, bought bagged salad giant Fresh Express in 2001.