Sobeys Parent Empire Makes New Leadership Appointments in Next Phase of Transformation
STELLARTON, NOVA SCOTIA - As Empire Company Limited and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sobeys Inc., move forward with the next phases of a three-year transformation plan, key leadership appointments have been in the works. Some candidates have moved up the ranks, while others are bringing outside perspective as they join the team.
“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 e-commerce and discount,” Michael Medline, Empire President & CEO, said in a recent press release. “We are now sharpening our leadership focus as we rally the team for stronger growth.”
The leadership changes reflect Empire’s efforts to create a national merchandising team, cultivate strong operations and merchandising roles, and build e-commerce and discount leadership for the long haul.
The following will assume new roles, effective immediately:
Lyne Castonguay, Executive Vice President of Store Experience
Castonguay will be responsible for store operations, distribution centers, and building excitement around Empire’s non-Quebec grocery banners nationally. She has shown a unique passion for retail experience, as can be seen in her time spent as Executive Vice President of Merchandising at Empire. There, she helped to create the company’s national merchandising structure, strategized Sobeys stabilized margins and sales over the past year, and assisted the designing of Ocado’s e-commerce partnership. She has done well in both the Candian and international markets in operations and merchandising roles.
Pierre St-Laurent, Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Quebec
St-Laurent has been a results-oriented leader dedicated to Empire’s Quebec business. In his new role, he will nurture innovation and partnerships. With St-Laurent’s new role, Luc L’Archeveque will step into the General Manager of Quebec position, and he retains his accountability as Vice President of Grocery for the Quebec business.
Mike Venton, General Manager of Discount
One of the most experienced discount leaders in Canada, Venton brings a thorough understanding of business to the table. As part of a succession plan, Venton was hired by Rob Adams earlier this year, and they will be working together throughout the transition to focus on expansion efforts for the company’s discount business, which includes the conversion of up to 25 percent of Sobeys and Safeway locations in Western Canada. In Adams's new role, he will leverage his lengthy and impressive experience and leadership experience in his new role.
Sarah Joyce, Senior Vice President of Ecommerce, effective June 25
Joyce will be responsible for end-to-end accountability for Sobeys e-commerce strategy, as well as the company’s offers with its Ocado partnership. She will work alongside merchandising efforts to build business with supplier partners in major growth areas. Joyce is joining Sobeys from HBC, where she served as General Manager for Saksoff5th.com and Gilt.com and was responsible for strategy and all day-to-day operations.
While these executives join the team, Jason Potter is bidding Sobeys adieu after working with the company for the past 26 years. He is leaving his role as Executive Vice President of Operations. Deirdre Horgan, Senior Vice President of Marketing, will also be leaving the company.
We wish Dierdre and Jason the best on this next chapter, and we look forward to reporting on what the promotions and new hires mean for Sobeys' success moving forward. Congratulations to Lyne, Pierre, Mike, and Sarah!