Dear valued client trading partner,
For your awareness, over the course of their current fiscal year, Wakefern has announced several senior leadership appointments that are important elements of their organizational strategy moving forward:
- In early December, 2016, Chris Lane was promoted to Executive Vice President, with strategic leadership responsibilities for all merchandising, procurement, operations, logistics, marketing and IT. The EVP position, second most senior role at Wakefern, had been vacant for several years, after Joe Sheridan had elevated from that role to President/COO. Chris joined Wakefern in 2003 from Duane Reade, and is a pharmacist by trade. Over his Wakefern tenure, his responsibilities dramatically expanded, from HBC to general merchandise, to grocery and non-foods, and finally oversight for all product divisions. Chris will continue to report to Joe and serves on the executive staff.
- In late December, Chris began to restructure the merchandising and procurement department, with the appointment of Paul Patten to the new position of Group Vice President of Center Store, which includes the grocery, dairy/frozen and HBC/GM product divisions. Paul is a seasoned veteran at Wakefern, with a broad portfolio of management assignments in merchandising and procurement. Among those reporting to Paul is Dave Howlett, VP – Dairy/Frozen Merchandising. Paul reports to Chris, and joins Wakefern’s executive staff.
- In early 2017, Wakefern announced two changes in their Retail Marketing department… Steve Henig, who has served as VP – Corporate Merchandising, was appointed VP – Digital Commerce & Innovation, and Chris Skyrs, who had served as VP – HBC, was appointed to backfill Steve. Both personnel moves demonstrate Wakefern’s ongoing commitment to continue expansion of their digital/on-line commerce platform, their life style/life stage shopper marketing focus, and their private brands marketing and penetration. Both Steve and Chris report to Jeff Reagan, SVP – Retail Marketing.
- Last week, Chris Lane announce the appointment of Terry Murphy to the new position of Group Vice President of Fresh (formerly perishables), with senior leadership responsibility for meat, appy, produce, seafood, food service, fresh bakery and floral product divisions. Terry has worked at Wakefern for over 25 years, with a broad resume of procurement and management roles, and most recently has served as VP – Fresh Bakery Merchandising. Terry will report to Chris, and will also join the Wakefern executive staff.
As Wakefern closes out their 2017 fiscal year (September 30th) and gears up for 2018, we anticipate several additional assignment changes will be announced among line managers. Your RDD Business Manager will keep you apprised of any changes that directly affect your business.
We are very optimistic about the positive impact these leadership appointments will have on both Wakefern’s and our client trading partners’ businesses in the years ahead. Both Paul and Terry are outstanding professionals and are highly respected by the Wakefern team, ShopRite membership (owners) and the supplier community.
Throughout their respective careers, they have worked closely with RDD management, and are strong advocates for our service model. We wish them well in their expanded roles, and will closely collaborate and align RDD resources to support their strategies to build more productive RDD client – Wakefern trading relationships.