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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. has announced its plans to promote Frank Lazaran to the positions of CEO and president. Lazaran, currently COO of the Jacksonville, Fla.-based supermarket company, is scheduled to assume his new positions on June 26, 2003, at the beginning of the company's new fiscal year. At that time, Allen Rowland, current CEO and President, will retire and resign from his seat on the company's board of directors. Lazaran will be appointed by the board of directors to fill the vacancy.
"Frank has made an outstanding contribution to our company since his arrival one year ago, and we are excited that he will have an even greater opportunity to impact our business in his new role. The board of directors was unanimous in his selection," said A. Dano Davis, chairman of the board of directors. "We believe it is an indication of the strength of our company that an individual of Frank's caliber was in our organization and ready to assume the leadership role in what we believe will be a seamless transition."
Before joining Winn-Dixie, Lazaran was president of Randalls Food Markets Inc., a division of Safeway, in Houston, Texas. His 28 years of industry experience also includes a broad background of management positions with Randalls and Ralphs Grocery Company in Compton, Calif.
Rowland joined Winn-Dixie as CEO and president in November of 1999. "We brought Al to Winn Dixie to be an agent of change, and he has done exactly what we asked of him," Davis said. "In his three and a half years, Al has improved our store operations and enhanced our financial position."
Davis noted that during Rowland's tenure, the company introduced its Customer Rewards Card to enhance sales, improved store operations and customer service, disposed of certain underperforming assets to strengthen its financial position, and built a strong senior leadership team.