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Vito D'Anna, c.e.o. of the Baltimore-area Mars Super Markets chain, has apparently resigned from the company this month, citing "personal reasons," according to a local source. D'Anna became head of the family-owned 18-store company in 1995, after the death of his father, Carmen V. D'Anna Sr.
As a result of D'Anna's departure, his younger brother, Christopher P. D'Anna, who served as president, has become c.e.o., while c.f.o. Phil Hanlan has added the title of president, the source reported. Company officials were unavailable for comment on the report.
Facing stiff competition from the likes of Wal-Mart, Glen Burnie, Md.-based Mars has been on the auction block since last year, but has run into difficulties regarding the leases on some of its stores.
"Mars owns most of the real estate where its stores are located throughout the Maryland area, but there are a handful of newer stores [for which] the company has leases with other landlords," Baltimore grocery consultant Jeremy Diamond explained to Progressive Grocer. "Apparently, some of the landlords refuse to release Mars from the leases if the company is bought out."
Vito D'Anna was said to be "gung ho" about the sale of the stores, and it's unclear how the deal will proceed without him, added Diamond.
Mars has used an outside management firm to run the company for the past decade, since the founding D'Anna brothers died.