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Smart & Final Holdings Corp. has named President and COO David G. Hirz its CEO, effective Jan, 1, 2012, at which time he will also become a member of the Los Angeles-based grocer’s board of directors. Smart & Final’s current chairman and CEO, George Golleher, will stay on as executive board chairman and continue to work closely with Hirz and the senior management team on strategic issues. Golleher joined Smart & Final in May 2007 when the retailer was acquired by New York-based Apollo Management LP.
Hirz, who joined Smart & Final as president in April 2010, was president of Food 4 Less supermarkets for eight years and of Ralphs Grocery Co. for three years. Both banners are divisions of the Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. Hirz was previously group VP of operations of Food 4 Less, which he joined in 1991. Before that, he held leadership roles with The Boys Markets in Los Angeles from 1985 to 1991, including district manager and director of store operations and administration.
Hirz is a graduate of the Food Industry Management Program at Cornell University and theFood Industry Executive Program at the University of Southern California. Among his other professional and community commitments, he’s the 2011 president of the City of Hope Southern California Food Industries Circle.
“I have known and worked with Dave for almost 35 years, and he is the ideal executive to lead our dynamic company,” said Golleher. “Since coming to Smart & Final in 2010, Dave has worked extremely hard to understand our unique business and has led significant new business initiatives. Dave has done a great job in helping to build our company into what it is today.”
Smart & Final Stores LLC operates about 250 retail stores under the banners Smart & Final, Smart & Final Extra!, Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice, and SmartCo Foods.