WILMINGTON, Mass. — UniFirst Corporation announced the passing of Ronald D. Croatti, the company’s chairman, president, and chief executive officer (CEO), as a result of complications associated with pneumonia.
Croatti joined the company in 1965. Under the tutelage of his father and company founder, Aldo Croatti, he gained first-hand experience working in virtually all areas of the company before being named a senior executive in 1986, when annual revenues were approximately $100 million. Since he became the company’s chief executive officer in 1991, UniFirst more than quintupled its annual revenues to $1.5 billion today, according to the company.
Ron Croatti and UniFirst were also regularly recognized in the media over the years. He was named Executive of the Year by the Best in Biz Awards and was featured on CBS-TV’s hit reality show “Undercover Boss.” UniFirst has been ranked by Forbes magazine on its “Platinum 400-Best Companies in America” list; named by Apparel magazine as one of “America’s Top 50 Apparel Companies” for nine consecutive years; named one of Selling Power magazine’s “Top 50 Best Companies to Sell For” every year since 2003; and recognized annually by the Boston Globe on its “Globe 100” list for the last 28 years.
“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,” Cynthia Croatti, executive vice president says. “His vision, leadership, and love for family will be missed immensely, but will live on for generations to come.”