Sobeys Restructures Executive Committee, Announces New Chiefs
STELLARTON, NOVA SCOTIA - An executive shakeup is in the works for Empire and its subsidiary, Sobeys, as the retailer doubles down on its Project Sunrise transformation initiative.
“The heavy lifting of Project Sunrise is almost done, and I couldn’t be happier with the exceptional progress the team continues to make. This is a significantly improved company from that of even a year ago,” stated Michael Medline, President and CEO, in a recent press release. “The time is right to set our sights on the next phase of growth, with leaders who will integrate and unify our efforts further, enhance execution, and accelerate innovation for the long-term—all with the aim of thrilling our customers.”
The changes to its Executive Committee are meant to reflect its focus on stronger execution, innovation, and growth.
Pierre St-Laurent has been appointed to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer, Full Service, effective immediately. In this role, St-Laurent will be responsible for merchandising, retail operations, and supply chain across the company’s full service and community banners, which include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Thrifty Foods, and Foodland. The new role, the press release noted, more tightly aligns merchant teams with retail operations so Empire speaks with a national voice to its customers and supplier partners. St-Laurent most recently worked with the company’s Quebec business as its National Chief Merchant.
Michael Vels will step into the role of Chief Financial Officer. Empire’s Information Technology team will now report to the CFO, due to the fact that Vels has prior experience in technology, digital implementation, and transformation, with a track record in driving improved business performance from information systems. Together with Real Estate, Indirect Sourcing, and the Enterprise Project Management Office that currently report to Vels, Information Technology will be focused on powering the next phase of growth and digital innovation for the company.
A search is currently underway for a new Chief Information Officer, whose goal it will be to drive the simplification and harmonization of technology tools that support an innovative company. The successful candidate will report to Vels and join the company’s Executive Committee.
As the company looks to elevate itself, a search is also underway for a Head of Innovation, who will report directly to the President and CEO and will also join the Executive Committee. While innovation is an integral characteristic of all leaders at Empire, this role and function is designed to bring a laser-like focus to solutions with the greatest potential to drive growth. The Head of Innovation will assist business leaders in identifying, prioritizing, testing, and rapidly assessing potential innovation initiatives and solutions.
Empire also announced that Luc L’Archeveque, Senior Vice President, Merchandising and General Manager, Quebec, and Lorne MacLean, Senior Vice President, Retail Operations, both of whom now report to Pierre St-Laurent, will join the Executive Committee effective immediately.
And as part of a planned transition, Lyne Castonguay, EVP Store Experience, will leave Empire as she continues to pursue her career aspirations.
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