MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Larry Wright has been appointed president of Piggly Wiggly Co. here, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fleming Cos., Oklahoma City.
vice president of retail sales and marketing.
A former Piggly Wiggly president, Wright rejoins the company after two years in Singapore as managing director of a joint-venture food distribution company owned by Fleming and David's, an Australian retailer.
Leonard Kaye, operating group president, has been serving as Piggly Wiggly's interim president since Lawrence L. Crane Jr., the previous president, took early retirement in mid-April, a Piggly Wiggly spokeswoman said. Kaye oversees operations in Memphis, Nashville and Johnson City, Tenn.
A 38-year supermarket veteran, Wright joined Fleming in 1988 from H.E. Butt Grocery Co., San Antonio, to become Piggly Wiggly president. Piggly Wiggly's operations then included 42 stores in southern Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle and were known as the Dixieland Group, part of Benson Wholesale Co., which Fleming acquired in 1978. When Fleming sold Dixieland in late 1991, Wright joined Sunkyong Distribution in Korea as vice president of food operations. He moved to the Fleming-David's Singapore joint venture in late 1994.
Wright had a 13-year career at H-E-B, serving in upper-level store management positions and later as human resources director and vice president of retail operations for more than 65 stores in central and north Texas.
Commenting on his return to Piggly Wiggly, Wright said in a statement, "Two things in particular excite me about this opportunity. I have the chance to be involved with Piggly Wiggly, which has such a strong character and history, and the independent sector of the supermarket industry. I believe the entrepreneurs of the independent supermarkets play a vital and indispensable role in the market."
Piggly Wiggly Co. franchises about 800 independently owned supermarkets in 19 states, mostly in the Southeast.