Company boosts focus on Store Operations, Merchandising, Ecommerce and Discount
STELLARTON, NS, June 5, 2018 /CNW/ - Empire Company Limited ("Empire"), together with its wholly-owned subsidiary Sobeys Inc., today announced key leadership appointments as the company focuses on the next phases of its three-year transformation plan.
"It has been a year of solid progress in rewiring the fundamentals of our business – stabilizing margins, creating a lower-cost national structure, and setting clear strategies in areas such as ecommerce and discount," said Michael Medline, President & CEO. "We are now sharpening our leadership focus as we rally the team for stronger growth."
Today's changes appoint strong leaders in key operations and merchandising roles, create a truly national merchandising team, and build Empire's ecommerce and discount leadership for the long-term. The appointments are a mix of top internal candidates and a new addition to the team.
Effective immediately, the following leaders assume new roles reporting to the CEO:
- Lyne Castonguay has been appointed Executive Vice President, Store Experience, responsible for store operations, our distribution centres and thrilling customers across Empire's conventional (non-Quebec) grocery banners nationally. Her passion for the customer and delivering exceptional retail experiences have been cornerstones of Lyne's career. Lyne previously served as Executive Vice President, Merchandising at Empire where she designed and laid the foundation for the company's national Merchandising structure, was the architect of Sobeys' success in stabilizing margins and sales over the past year, and played a key role in creating the Ocado ecommerce partnership. She has excelled in both Canadian and international markets in top operations and merchandising roles.
- Pierre St-Laurent has been appointed Executive Vice President, Merchandising and Quebec. This move tightly aligns Empire's key merchant teams – an evolution to a truly national merchandising function that will speak with one voice to customers and supplier partners. Pierre has been the exceptionally effective, results-oriented leader of Empire's strong Quebec business and, in his new role, he retains all current reporting relationships with his Quebec team. Keenly focused on innovation, partnerships and disciplined execution, Pierre's track record and reputation as a merchant are widely respected throughout the industry.
Luc L'Archeveque has been appointed General Manager, Quebec, and retains his accountability as VP Grocery for the Quebec business. He will coordinate the day-to-day activities between Operations, Merchandising and Marketing of the Quebec business unit and will report to Pierre.
- Mike Venton has been appointed General Manager, Discount. Mike was hired by Rob Adams earlier this year as part of his planned succession. Mike is one of the most experienced and successful discount leaders in Canada, is a very strong merchant and has been working with Rob for several months to prepare for this transition. Rob will stay on to support Mike and will shift his focus to leading the expansion of the company's discount business, including the conversion of up to 25% of Sobeys and Safeway locations in Western Canada. In his new role, Rob will leverage his deep experience and leadership abilities gained in launching the successful FreshCo banner in Ontario, where he aggressively built that business to 91 stores in just over eight years in the most dynamic growth segment of the retail grocery industry.
- Sarah Joyce has been appointed Senior Vice President, Ecommerce, effective June 25. She will have end-to-end accountability for Sobeys' ecommerce strategy and will be responsible for the company's ecommerce offer through its innovative Ocado partnership. Sarah will build the online customer offer and branding, working closely with Merchandising to expand the business with supplier partners in this important growth area. A strategic new-world retail leader, building online businesses and developing sought-after online shopping experiences have been at the centre of Sarah's achievements. She comes to Sobeys from HBC where she built and was General Manager of Saksoff5th.com and Gilt.com, accountable for strategy and all aspects of day-to-day operations.
Jason Potter, who served as Executive Vice President, Operations, is leaving Sobeys after a 26 year career with the company. We thank Jason for his contributions in numerous leadership roles over his productive career with the company.
With regret, the company also announced today that Deirdre Horgan, Senior Vice President, Marketing, will not be returning to her role at Sobeys due to her ongoing recovery from serious illness and the need to focus on her health and family. The entire team wishes Deirdre all the best for her speedy recovery. Lyne Castonguay will continue to lead the Marketing team on an interim basis until a new head of the function is confirmed.
Empire Company Limited (TSX: EMP.A) is a Canadian company headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Empire's key businesses are food retailing and related real estate. With approximately $24.1 billion in annualized sales and $8.6 billion in assets, Empire and its subsidiaries, franchisees and affiliates employ approximately 125,000 people. Additional financial information relating to Empire, including the Company's Annual Information Form, can be found on the Company's website at www.empireco.ca or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Proudly Canadian, with headquarters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Sobeys has been serving the food shopping needs of Canadians since 1907. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX: EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises approximately 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, and Lawton's Drug Stores as well as more than 350 retail fuel locations. Sobeys, its franchisees and affiliates employ more than 125,000 people. More information on Sobeys Inc. can be found at www.sobeyscorporate.com.
SOURCE Empire Company Limited
For further information: Media Contact,Cynthia ThompsonVice President,Communications & Corporate Affairs, Empire Company Limited, (902) 752-8371 ext. 8455; Investor Contact , Katie Brine, Director, Investor Relations, Empire Company Limited, (905) 238-7124 ext. 2092