OKLAHOMA CITY -- Fleming Cos. here plans to appoint 10 operating group presidents -- a new title -- to oversee its 35 divisions to tie local operations together for better retailer support and greater financial performance accountability. In announcing the move last week, the wholesaler said it would disclose the names of the new executives, including the divisions each will handle, before the end of August. Two Fleming managers -- Steve Davis, executive vice president of distribution, and Mark K. Batenic, senior vice president of retail sales and marketing -- now oversee the operations of the 35 divisions, "an understandably unwieldy task," according to a letter to Fleming employees.
d and breach-of-contract case, to be retried next year, involved alleged pricing and cost discrepancies.
Fleming said in the letter that it had intended to add a management level after its new organizational structure was fully in place and "after we found out exactly what was needed." That reorganization began in late 1994. Each manager will oversee three to five divisions, Fleming said, and each will be based in one of the divisions they will handle. But the letter indicated they will not have a support staff, and each division organization will report to them. The 10 appointments won't affect the Fleming contacts for 95% or more of the retailers in the 17 re-engineered divisions nor the contacts at the 18 divisions not re-engineered. "These adjustments put more of the company's focus on operations at the local division level," the letter said. Another plus, it said, is that "these 10 associates will have responsibilities for both re-engineered and non-re-engineered divisions, so when re-engineering continues at other divisions, the operating group president will already be in place. This provides for greater stability for retailers and associates."