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Canadian grocer Loblaw Cos. has appointed veteran company executives Grant Froese and Mark Butler to the newly created roles of chief administrative officer and EVP, integration, respectively.
Froese assumes responsibility for supply chain, IT and SAP implementation, in addition to the division support functions of control brands, e-commerce, goods not for resale, off-shore procurement and marketing. A Loblaw employee for the past 35 years, he most recently held the position of EVP, discount division.
“The appointment of Grant Froese as chief administrative officer brings important shared service functions, including IT and supply chain, under a single experienced executive as we enter the next key phase of building Loblaw’s competitiveness and efficiency,” said Vicente Trius, president of Brampton, Ontario-based Loblaw. “Grant’s combination of deep operational and merchandising experience is an ideal fit as we ramp up the IT rollout to our store network and drive our efficiency agenda to become a more agile company.”
Butler will take on the responsibility for planning the integration of Shoppers Drug Mart, while ensuring it remains a vibrant, independent division. Additionally, subject to the transaction’s completion, he will head the team charged with delivering synergies. Butler has spent the past 37 years at Loblaw, most recently as EVP, conventional division.
“Mark Butler is a seasoned operator with deep expertise and relationships in the key areas we have targeted for synergies,” noted Trius. “We are committed to achieving the targets we have outlined, and I am confident that Mark and his team will deliver on those objectives.”
Succeeding Butler and Froese in their previous positions are Garry Senecal, who becomes EVP, conventional division and will continues to lead the health and wellness team, which includes Loblaw’s current pharmacy, optical and natural value offerings, and Andrew Iacobucci, who is the new EVP, discount division. Senecal brings more than 22 years of Canadian and international store operations, merchandising, brands and marketing experience to his new role, while Iacobucci, who joined the company in 2005, brings an extensive background in merchandising, operations and strategy, and has been a key leader of the discount division since 2011.
Additionally, having successfully completed the design and build phases of the supply chain and IT infrastructure project, COO Peter McMahon is leaving the company.
“As chief operating officer, Peter was instrumental in the revitalization of our supply chain and the development of the SAP platform and digital strategy,” said Trius. “We thank Peter for his commitment and contribution to the company, and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
In other company news, Loblaw is mourning the loss of Dave Nichol, who joined the grocer in 1972 and held various roles, including president of Loblaw Supermarkets and head of the product development team. His significant contributions to Loblaw include helping to establish the President’s Choice and no name private brands.
Nichol, an expert marketer, also launched the first Insider’s Report in November 1983, reflecting his belief that success required great stories as well as great products.
“We are deeply saddened and our thoughts and prayers go out to Dave’s family,” said Galen G. Weston, Loblaw’s executive chairman. “Dave’s passion for food and his vision helped to transform the way Canadians eat, and he has left a tremendous legacy that endures in the company today. He will be missed by all who had the opportunity to work with him and benefit from his guidance and friendship.”