GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The board of directors at Spartan Stores here last week unanimously elected James B. Meyer as the new president and chief operating officer.
Meyer, chief financial officer and senior vice president of corporate support services, succeeds Patrick M. Quinn, the wholesaler's president and chief executive officer for 11 years. Quinn, 62, announced late last month that he will retire next year but will remain CEO until July 1997, when Meyer, 50, will add the CEO title. As of last week, a new CFO had not been named.
Meyer told SN he essentially plans to move ahead with growth strategies initiated by Quinn. Under Quinn, Spartan launched a major systems re-engineering project, grew its sales base via acquisitions and watched total sales jump from $1.3 billion in 1985 to $2.5 billion last year.
"My goal is to build on the foundation that has been established and to improve Spartan's financial results. It's a bit premature right now to give specifics," Meyer said.
"We will continue to focus on growth. Acquisitions are certainly a component of growth. There is nothing specific planned today, but given the right circumstances [acquisitions] would be a component of growth," he told SN. Another focus is to boost business with current customers and add new ones, he said. Meyer's appointment wraps up a nearly yearlong executive search that involved internal and external candidates, Spartan reported. "As we interviewed candidates, Jim quickly rose to the top of the list," according to Donald J. Koop, Spartan chairman. "We had a chance to compare Jim to the very best in our industry, and we're convinced that he is the best person to be leading this company."
Meyer joined Spartan in 1973 as director of retail accounting. He also has served as controller and vice president of finance and administration.
Quinn commented that Meyer is more than ready to keep Spartan moving forward. "Jim has exhibited a high level of leadership skills and has been intimately involved in the creation of our corporate vision and strategies. He's well equipped to lead Spartan into the future."