Sam Martin, the president and CEO of A&P, has left the company, a spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

Martin had served as CEO of the troubled operator since July of 2010. Gregory Mays, executive chairman of the Montvale, N.J.-based retailer, is serving as interim CEO until a successor can be found.

A&P CEO Sam Martin“We all thank Sam for his time at A&P and wish him well in his future endeavors,” the company said in a statement. “At the appropriate time in the company’s 2014 planning process, a new chief executive officer will be identified.”

John Niccolai, president of Little Falls, N.J.-based United Food and Commercial Workers Local 464A, told SN he was informed of the change earlier this week. Mays, Niccolai said, was searching to bring in a “top-notch operator," Niccolai said. "I have high regard for Greg Mays," he said. "He's made some good things happen."


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Martin joined A&P from OfficeMax in 2010, taking over as CEO from Ron Marshall amid a volatile period of leadership changes at the retailer. Later that year the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and emerged 15 months later behind new investment from Yucaipa Cos., Mount Kellett Capital Management and Goldman Sachs. Martin at that time signed a $1.2 million annual employment agreement.

Martin told SN in a 2012 interview that revamping stores under a neighborhood merchandising focus would be a key to reversing fortunes at A&P, which operates stores under the A&P, Waldbaums, Pathmark, SuperFresh, Food Emporium and Food Basics banners. For a time, Martin appeared in television commercials for the chain.

A&P most recently has been showcasing revamped private label products and service departments at its stores.

Mays took over as chairman of A&P from Yucaipa founder Ron Burkle a year ago.

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