OPERATIONS

Arby’s CEO departs company

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta Tom Garrett, a longtime Arby’s executive in charge of the struggling restaurant chain, is leaving the company.

Roland Smith, president and CEO of parent company Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, will step into the role on an interim basis while the company searches for a permanent replacement. The company said Smith will attempt to lead an effort to reinvigorate sales.

“It was a difficult decision, but one that was necessary at Arby’s because the brand’s results over the last year have been below expectations,” said spokesman Bob Bertini. “The entire Arby’s team will be focused on a turnaround of the brand — with stronger marketing, product development and operations to improve same-store sales and margins.”

The company said Garrett may become a franchise owner.

His departure comes as Arby’s continues to underperform its more affordable sibling, Wendy’s.

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Williams-Sonoma CEO retires, new leader named

BY CSA STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO Williams-Sonoma announced that Howard Lester will retire from his position as chairman and CEO and as a member of the board at the May 2010 annual shareholders’ meeting. He will continue, however, to assist the company in a consulting and advisory role through December 2012 and have the title of chairman emeritus.

Lester has led the company since 1978 when he purchased it from its founder, Chuck Williams. At that time, the company had four stores, a small catalog and $4 million in revenue.

 

 

Williams-Sonoma said that its board intends to appoint Laura Alber as the company’s CEO as well as a nominee to the board of directors. Alber joined the company in 1995 and was appointed to her current role as president in 2006.

Alber stated, “It is an exceptional honor to follow in the footsteps of one of the most highly esteemed executives in retail. Howard has been an outstanding mentor, and he is retiring at a time when the foundation of the company has never been stronger. We are confident in our direction and, together with the leadership team, ready to execute against those strategies that will grow and improve our businesses, deliver great products and services to our customers and enhance shareholder value.”

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Costco honored for sustainability efforts

BY CSA STAFF

INDIANAPOLIS SustainableGrocer.com, an organization which manages sustainability practices within the food and grocery retail sector, has named Costco as the 2009 Sustainable Grocer of the Year.

Costco received the award for its sustainable efforts including energy reduction, offering a wide selection of organic food and its recycling programs. The company was also recognized for reducing packaging waste and working to reduce its carbon footprint through effective delivery systems which utilize the most efficient trucks available.  

 

 

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