Retail retirement briefs: PetsSmart, Jewel-Osco execs depart

• PetSmart's O'Leary to retire
PetSmart Inc. announced changes to its management team and organizational structure in conjunction with the retirement of Joseph O’Leary, president and chief operating officer. These changes will become effective April 4.

“Joe has been an integral part of PetSmart’s success for many years and we wish him all the best moving forward. On behalf of everyone at PetSmart, I want to thank Joe for his leadership and dedication to the company, our associates and our customers,” said CEO David Lenhardt.

PetSmart said it does not intend to replace the chief operating officer position and will realign these responsibilities among four newly created executive vice president positions, with Lenhardt assuming the title of president and CEO.

Lenhardt said the retirement provided the company the opportunity to take a fresh look at its organizational structure and establish a leadership team that will work to promote future growth and deliver shareholder value.

In addition, PetSmart will be conducting a search for a new chief information officer to replace Don Beaver, who will also retire.

The following leaders will be named to the newly created EVP roles:
• Carrie Teffner will now serve as EVP and CFO overseeing finance and information systems.
• Matt McAdam will now serve as EVP of merchandising and real estate.
• Bruce Thorn will now serve as EVP of store operations and supply chain.

• Jewel-Osco president resigns
Less than a year after taking the reins, William Emmons is retiring as president of Jewel-Osco, Chicago's largest grocery chain, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Emmons came out of retirement in March to run Jewel after it was acquired by Idaho-based New Albertsons as part of a $3.3 billion deal, Emmons announced his decision Tuesday (Jan. 14).

Jim Rice, who was named vice president of operations for Jewel-Osco in August, has been elevated to run the 180-store grocery chain on an interim basis.

Rice previously worked for Albertsons for more 35 years.

Jewel seeks to refresh its stores and expand its market share in the wake of the recent shuttering of the rival Dominick's chain having remodeled 18 locations last month, and this week is converting four stores acquired from Dominick's to the Jewel banner.

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Emmons has spent nearly five decades in the grocery business, retiring from Albertsons in 2011 after 40 years with that supermarket chain.

During his tenure at Jewel, Emmons oversaw a number of initiatives including the chain's decision to drop its preferred customer card in June. Other changes include the phasing out of self-checkout, brightening the stores, expanding fresh offerings and a new dress code for employees.

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