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HEB has appointed Martin Otto its Chief Merchant, effective Jan. 1, 2010. An 18-year veteran of the San Antonio-based company, Otto is currently CFO, a position that he will continue to hold.
Otto succeeds Steve Harper as chief merchant. Harper, who is opting for semi-retirement, will continue to work with HEB on a part-time basis, mentoring key leaders within the company, and helping to asses opportunities within its manufacturing and retail operations.
As CFO, Otto has led the company initiative to considerably reduce administrative expenses during the recession, and reinvest those savings into lower prices for customers. In his time at HEB, he has also held the position of EVP of grocery and fresh merchandising/procurement, and headed several of the company’s operating areas, including the Central Texas Region, which included Austin, Waco, Temple and its surrounding areas.
Otto’s past professional experience additionally includes real estate investment banking and public accounting.
“His insight as chief merchant will ensure that we continue to be strongly positioned for success, now and in the future,” noted HEB chairman and CEO Charles Butt.
HEB operates more than 300 stores in Texas and Mexico. The company employs over 70,000 associates and serves customers in more than 150 communities.