The revolving door kept turning for top executives in 1999.
Perhaps the most surprising turn came in April, when Tom E. Smith retired as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Food Lion, Salisbury, N.C. after 29 years with the company, including 18 years in top management -- as president since 1981, CEO since 1986 and chairman since 1990.
The change signalled a more hands-on role for Food Lion's parent company, Delhaize "Le Lion," the Brussels, Belgium-based company that has controlled Food Lion since 1977 -- a change that signalled an end to Smith's autonomy and led him to retire, observers told SN at the time.
The title of Food Lion chairman went to Pierre-Olivier Beckers, CEO of Delhaize, while the title of president and CEO went to Bill McCanless, formerly Food Lion's senior vice president, administration, and chief administrative officer.
In another surprise move, Dick King resigned in June as president and chief operating officer of Albertson's, Boise, Idaho. King had been set to become a member of the office of the chairman following consummation of Albertson's merger with American Stores Co., but instead resigned, without explanation, the same day the merger deal closed.
In another executive change, Michael E. Julian resigned in June as chairman and chief executive officer of Jitney-Jungle Stores of America, Jackson, Miss., "to address personal matters," he said.
His resignation -- after two years at the company's helm -- came four months before Jitney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Succeeding Julian as CEO was Ronald E. Johnson, the company's president; the post of chairman remains vacant.
In another unexpected move, James Kufeldt retired in August as president of Winn-Dixie Stores, Jacksonville, Fla., after 38 years with the company, including the last 11 as president. His decision to retire came a few months after his recovery from what the company described as a mild stroke with no permanent damage, which Kufeldt said "caused me to rethink my priorities, and I decided I wanted to be able to spend more time with my family."
He was succeeded in late November by Allen R. Rowland -- with the title of president and chief executive officer, the latter title given up by A. Dano Davis, who continues as Winn-Dixie chairman. Rowland was president and chief operating officer of Smith's Food & Drug Centers, Salt Lake City, for two years, retiring in early 1998 when the company was acquired by Fred Meyer, Inc., Portland, Ore.
In May William Dowd resigned as president and chief operating officer of Fleming Cos., Oklahoma City. Dowd's resignation followed the appointment in late 1998 of Mark Hansen as Fleming's chairman and CEO. The company said Dowd decided to resign to pursue other personal and professional interests. The position of president will remain vacant.
In other changes:
Tom Dahlen was named president and chief executive officer of Furr's Supermarkets, Albuquerque, N.M., following the resignation in June of W.R. (Buz) Doyle as president and chief operating officer after six years in that position and eight years with the company. Dahlen was formerly executive vice president, sales and marketing, for Ralphs Grocery Co., Compton, Calif., a division of Kroger Co., Cincinnati.
Besides adding Doyle's title of president, Dahlen also added the CEO title from Jan Friederich, who remains Furr's chairman.
Ron Wright was named president of C&S Wholesale Grocers, Brattleboro, Vt., succeeding Rick Cohen, who retained the title of chairman. Wright retained his former title as chief operating officer.
Terry W. Olsen was named president and chief executive officer of United Grocers, Portland, Ore., succeeding Charles Carlbom, who retired. Olsen was formerly executive vice president and chief operating officer of UG. When UG merged with Certified Grocers of California, Los Angeles, in October to form Unified Western Grocers, Olsen was named executive vice president and chief operating officer of the new company.
Mark S. Schwartz was named president and chief executive officer of Big V Supermarkets, Florida, N.Y. , succeeding Joseph Fisher, who left the company in late 1998 to become president and CEO of Penn Traffic Co., Syracuse, N.Y. Schwartz was previously president and CEO of Hechinger Co., a Maryland-based retail home-improvement chain.
Edward J. Kolodzieski was named president of Acme Markets of Virginia, North Tazewell, Va. He succeeded Michael F. Heintzman, who left Acme in 1998 to direct grocery operations for Sam's Club. Kolodzieski was formerly vice president, strategic planning, and chief information officer for Ingles Markets, Black Mountain, N.C.
Bernard D. Kennedy and John B. Cullen were named co-chairmen and chief executive officers of King Kullen, Westbury, N.Y., and J. Donald Kennedy and Brian C. Cullen were named co-presidents and co-chief operating officers. Bernard Kennedy had been president and chief operating officer; John Cullen had been chairman and CEO; J. Donald Kennedy was formerly executive vice president, finance and administration, and Brian Cullen was formerly executive vice president, operations.
Four third-generation members of Texas' Brookshire family were named presidents of Brookshire Grocery Co., Tyler, Texas -- Brad Brookshire (president, corporate development), Britt Brookshire (retail operations), Tim Brookshire (human resources and financial) and Mark Brookshire (marketing). All were previously vice presidents in their respective areas. They succeeded James Hardin, who gave up the title of president but retained the title of chief executive officer.
Glen B. Catt was named president and chief operating officer of Glen's Markets, Gaylord, Mich., following its acquisition by Spartan Stores, Grand Rapids, Mich. Catt succeeded his father, Glen A. Catt, who retired.
Michael A. Roth, president and chief operating officer of Roth's Supermarkets, Salem, Ore., added the title of chief executive officer. His father, Orville N. Roth, gave up the title of president but continues as chairman.
Larry Uhl was named chief operating officer for West Point Market, Akron, Ohio. He was formerly vice president, marketing, for Au Bon Pain Bakery Cafe.
Philip E. Hawkins resigned as president and chief operating officer of Smart & Final, Los Angeles. He was succeeded as president by Ross E. Roeder, who retained his titles of chairman and chief executive officer.
Greg Josefowicz resigned as president of Jewel Food Stores, Melrose Park., Ill., a division of Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, to become chairman of The Borders Group, Ann Arbor, Mich. He was succeeded at Jewel by Peter Van Helden, formerly senior vice president, operations, for Jewel.
Robert G. Miller resigned as vice chairman and chief operating officer of Kroger Co. to become chairman and chief executive officer of Rite Aid Corp., Camp Hill, Pa.
Mary Sammons resigned as chief executive officer of Fred Meyer Stores, a division of Kroger-owned Fred Meyer, Inc., Portland, Ore., to become president and chief operating officer of Rite Aid.
Ronald J. Nevers resigned as president of D'Agostino Supermarkets, Larchmont, N.Y., to operate his own store in New Jersey. No successor had been named by year's end.
Several executives opted to retire during the year, including the following:
George W. Golleher, in May, as president and chief operating officer of Fred Meyer, Inc., Portland, Ore., following completion of Fred Meyer's merger with Kroger Co., Cincinnati. Golleher spent 28 years in the industry prior to his retirement.
Dale Riley, in July, as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Lund Food Holdings, Edina, Minn. No successor was named. Riley had been president and chief operating officer of Byerly's when that company was acquired by Lund in 1996. In November he was named vice president for drug stores in Supervalu's retail food companies division.