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Peter Lynch, who took over Winn-Dixie in 2004 and guided the Jacksonviille-based grocery chain through bankruptcy, will resign from the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company following the completion of its planned merger with Bi-Lo.
"Having had the privilege to serve as Winn-Dixie's CEO for the last seven years, it is now time for me to seek new challenges," Lynch, who served as chairman, president and CEO of the regional retailer, said in a letter to employees.
Randall Onstead, Bi-Lo’s current chairman, will take over as president and CEO of the combined companies. Onstead is the former chairman and CEO of Safeway’s Texas-based Randalls Food Markets subsidiary.
A 35-year grocery veteran, Lynch previously spent five years as president and CEO of Albertsons. He began his career at Star Markets Co. in Boston and also held executive positions at Jewel-Osco in Chicago and Acme Markets in Philadelphia.
Winn-Dixie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2005, shortly after Lynch took over, and emerged in November 2006. Last month, Winn-Dixie agreed to be acquired by Bi-Lo for about $560 million. That transaction is expected to close before April.