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WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. - William J. Coyne, president of the supermarket chain Raley's since 2002, has been appointed c.e.o., according to the Sacramento Bee.
Coyne, who will keep the title of president of the family-owned company, actually became c.e.o. in mid-December. He has filled a position left vacant since Michael J. Teel, the grandson of the Raley's founder, abruptly left the company in last April. Coyne is the second nonfamily member, after Charles P. Collings, to lead Raley's, which last year racked up $3.2 billion in sales.
"Bill is very capable, very bright, works well with people," said Collings, a member of the board of directors. "We saw how he performed as president. And it was intended that he become c.e.o. after a period of time."
Just the third c.e.o. in the company's 69-year history, Coyne operates a supermarket chain encompassing 134 stores in northern and central California and reaching into New Mexico and Nevada.
Last autumn he told the Sacramento Bee that Raley's is preparing for a more competitive environment including Wal-Mart supercenters and such specialty grocers as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market. He also will need to work out a new labor contract with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 588. The contract expires July 17 for 20,000 retail food workers, among them 6,000 Raley's employees.
The chain currently operates stores under the Raley's, Bel Air, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source banners. The company earlier announced plans to open 25 stores within four years.