A flurry of high-profile retirements yielded new leadership at a number of supermarket companies this year, with some successors moving up the ranks when family members passed the torch to younger generations.
Some executives left their companies to tackle new challenges. And a few added titles when their companies refocused their goals, were sold off or were restructured.
In January, Robert A. Mariano, president and chief operating officer of Dominick's Finer Foods, Northlake, Ill., was named president and chief executive officer. He replaced Ron Burkle, formerly chairman and chief and executive officer. Burkle, managing partner of Yucaipa Cos., Los Angeles, stayed on as a chairman of Dominick's, but gave up the chairman's post at Ralphs Grocery Co., Compton, Calif.
Burkle's exit as Ralphs' chairman allowed CEO Byron Allumbaugh -- who served as chairman and CEO for more than two decades before Ralphs and Food 4 Less merged in 1995 -- to resume the title. George Golleher, vice chairman, replaced Allumbaugh as CEO. Al Marasca remained president and chief operating officer.
Publix Super Markets, Lakeland, Fla., ushered in 1996 with a new president. Mark C. Hollis, president for more than 11 years, passed the torch over to W.E. "Ed" Crenshaw, executive vice president of retailing. Hollis assumed the new title of vice chairman of the board.
Cy Green, president and chief operating officer of Fred Meyer Inc., Portland, Ore., for 24 years, retired in February. Curt Lerew 3rd, senior vice president of the food group, was named executive vice president of sales and operations. Fred Meyer had said it didn't plan to fill the president and chief operating officer posts, but six months later appointed Lerew to both.
In March, Jack Futterman, chairman and chief executive officer of Pathmark Stores, Woodbridge, N.J., and its parent, Supermarkets General Holdings Corp., Woodbridge, N.J., retired after 23 years with the company. A few weeks later, Anthony J. Cuti resigned as president to become chairman and chief executive officer of Duane Reade, a New York-based drugstore chain. In October, James Donald, corporate senior vice president of Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., and manager of its eastern division, was appointed Pathmark's chairman, president and CEO. Michael J. Bessire succeeded Donald at Safeway.
Roger Friou was appointed president of Jitney Jungle Stores of America, Jackson, Miss., and retained the chief financial officer's title when the chain was sold to Bruckman, Rosser, Sherrill & Co., a New York investment firm, in March. Henry Holman, the former president, continued as chairman and CEO.
Robert Onstead, chairman of Randalls Food Markets, Houston, became chairman of the company's Dallas-based Tom Thumb division in April and passed on the CEO title to his son, Randall Onstead, who was president and chief operating officer for a decade.
In the summer, William J. Grize became president and chief operating officer of Stop & Shop Cos., Quincy, Mass. The president's title was formerly held by Robert G. Tobin, who remained chairman and CEO. Tobin assumed additional duties when Stop & Shop's new parent, Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold, merged some of its Edwards Super Food Stores operations into Stop & Shop.
Raley's Supermarkets, West Sacramento, Calif., named Michael J. Teel -- grandson of founder Thomas J. Raley and son of co-chairs Jim and Joyce Teel -- president. Teel succeeded Charles L. Collings, who stayed on as CEO and a board member. Collings is expected to retire as CEO in 1998. David P. Steitz replaced Teel as chief operating officer.
In August, Donald D. Bennett, chairman and CEO of Richfood Holdings, Richmond, Va., announced that he will transfer the CEO title to John E. Stokely, president and chief operating officer, on Jan. 1.
James B. Meyer was elected president and chief operating officer of Spartan Stores, Grand Rapids, Mich. He succeeds Patrick M. Quinn, president and CEO. Meyer will add the CEO title when Quinn retires in July.
Carr Gottstein Foods, Anchorage, Alaska, named Lawrence H. Hayward president and CEO. The titles were held by Mark R. Williams, who was named vice chairman. Williams stepped down to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests.
Joseph H. Fernandez, president and chief executive officer of Buttrey Food & Drug Stores Co., Great Falls, Mont., added the chairman's post in September. He replaced Edward Agnew, who left the company in 1994.
That same month, John T. Dixon, president and chief executive officer of Penn Traffic Co., Syracuse, N.Y., retired for personal and health reasons. Chairman Gary D. Hirsch has assumed Dixon's duties until a replacement is found.
At Giant Food, Landover, Md., Pete Manos, president and CEO, was also named chairman, a title previously held by Israel Cohen, who died last year.
James A. Demme, president and CEO of Homeland Stores, Oklahoma City, was elected chairman of the new board of directors. The chain emerged from bankruptcy protection in the summer.
In November, Larry Wright returned to Piggly Wiggly Corp., Memphis, Tenn., as president. Wright, who most recently served as managing director for an overseas joint-venture food distributor, was Piggly Wiggly's president from 1988 to 1994. He succeeds Lawrence L. Crane Jr., who retired in April.