WAYNE, N.J. -- Roger E. Stangeland, the just-retired chairman of Vons Cos., Arcadia, Calif., said he has agreed to become chairman of Grand Union Co. here once it completes its reorganization under Chapter 11 in mid-June.
He will succeed Gary Hirsch, who is general partner with Miller Tabak Hirsch, a New York-based investment firm. Hirsch, who agreed to step down as part of Grand Union's reorganization plan, will continue as chairman of Penn Traffic Co., Syracuse, N.Y.
Grand Union officials could not be reached for comment.
Stangeland told SN he will be an outside director of Grand Union but will not take a management role in the company. He will not be based in Wayne, but does plan to spend several days each month in an office here.
"I will chair board meetings, and I will be an adviser to the company and help the full-time management team bring the company along on its way to recovery, but I won't be part of the management team, " he said. "I'll be there to help."
Once Grand Union's reorganization has been completed, existing chain management will remain in place, Stangeland told SN, including Joseph McCaig as president and chief executive officer and William Louttit as vice president and chief operating officer. Stangeland said both McCaig and Louttit will remain on the chain's board, along with four new outside directors whom Stangeland will appoint later.
Stangeland declined to discuss specific plans prior to taking over
as chairman. However, he said no additional stores will be closed.
Stangeland said he has signed a multiyear consulting contract with the company.
Grand Union filed for Chapter 11 protection in January in Delaware after efforts to negotiate with creditors failed. A confirmation hearing is scheduled for May 31 on a reorganization plan submitted by the company to the bankruptcy court.
Stangeland, 65, has spent the past 10 years as chairman and CEO of Vons. When he retired from Vons following its annual meeting on May 3, Stangeland said he would become an industry consultant, with Vons as his first client. He also said he would be developing a new group of drug stores in southern California.
Stangeland completed a two-year term last week as chairman of the Food Marketing Institute.
Asked why he was interested in accepting the chairmanship of Grand Union, Stangeland told SN, "Grand Union will come out of bankruptcy well-capitalized, with a solid balance sheet, and I think it's a company with a huge potential.
"It has a great, great, great consumer franchise within its Northeast marketplace, but it needs to be revitalized and rejuvenated."
Because of his belief that corporate directors should own stock in the companies they serve, Stangeland told SN he plans to buy shares of Grand Union's privately held stock "when it's available."