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Shares of Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. (SFM - Get Report) wilted on Friday, Nov. 30, after the company announced that its CEO will be leaving at the end of the year.

Shares in the natural and organic grocery chain plunged on the news, falling as much as 16% in mid-morning trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. 

CEO Amin Maredia will step down from his role on Dec. 30, to "pursue other interests," the company said in a statement. Jim Nielson, current president and chief operating officer, and Brad Lukow, current chief financial officer, will serve as co-CEOs until a permanent replacement is found.

"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,'" said Sprouts board Chairman Joseph Fortunato.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Sprouts employs more than 28,000 and operates more than 300 stores in 19 states from coast to coast.