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Trader Joe’s founder Joseph H. Coulombe will succeed Fredric M. Roberts as non-executive chairman of Oakland, Calif.-based Cost Plus, Inc., a specialty retailer of casual home living and entertaining products, at the conclusion of Roberts’ term, which coincides with the company’s annual shareholders meeting set for June 17.
This move is part of a process the Cost Plus board instituted March 2005, under which the office of the non-executive chairman would rotate among its members.
As well as being Trader Joe’s founder, Coulombe was the grocer’s CEO from 1957 to 1989. Following his tenure at the company, he held numerous senior executive positions in the retailing and grocery businesses, including president and CEO of Sport Chalet, Inc., a sporting goods retailer; CEO of Provigo Corp., a wholesale and retail grocer; and EVP of Pacific Enterprises, with principal responsibility for Thrifty Corp., an operator of drug and sporting goods chain stores. He was also co-chairman of Thrifty Corp. additionally, he has worked intermittently as an independent business consultant since 1989.
Coulombe joined the Cost Plus board in 1995 and is also a director of True Religion Apparel, Inc., a manufacturer of high-end contemporary designer jeans.
“As a long standing director, Joe has the full support and trust of the board,” said Cost Plus president and CEO Barry Feld. “He possesses the strong leadership and consensus-building skills necessary to effectively lead our board as non-executive chairman.”
Cost Plus operates 263 stores in 30 states.