Empire/Sobeys Make Key Leadership Appointments

by Katie Lee

Stellarton, Nova Scotia — Empire Company Limited, together with its wholly-owned subsidiary Sobeys Inc., has made key leadership appointments as the company focuses on the next phases of its 3-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 e-commerce and discount,” says Michael Medline, president and 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 e-commerce 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, distribution centers and thrilling customers across Empire’s conventional (non-Quebec) grocery banners nationally. Previously, she was executive vice president, merchandising, at Empire.
  • Pierre St-Laurent has been appointed executive vice president, merchandising, 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. St-Laurent 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.
  • Luc L’Archeveque has been appointed general manager, Quebec, and retains his accountability as vice president, 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 St-Laurent.
  • Mike Venton has been appointed general manager, discount. He 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 Adams for several months to prepare for this transition. Adams will stay on to support Venton 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.
  • Sarah Joyce has been appointed senior vice president, e-commerce, effective June 25. She comes to Sobeys from HBC where she built and was general manager of www.Saksoff5th.com and www.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.

Empire Company Limited is a Canadian company headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Empire’s key businesses are food retailing and related real estate. For more information, visit www.empireco.ca.

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, 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. For more information, visit www.sobeyscorporate.com.

SOURCE: Empire Company Limited

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